Human Rights in the News


April 2018

Posted on 19 April 2018 by Al Jazeera 
US President Donald Trump announced on Friday the operation against Syria, framing his decision as a fight against "evil" while saying days earlier that preventing chemical attacks is "about humanity". Trump's action against Syria, however, rings hollow to those who lived through the dangers of Iraq's chemical attacks in Iran during the Iran-Iraq War. When Saddam Hussein used chemical weapons to kill thousands of Iranians during the war from 1980 to 1988, not only did the US look the other way, but also "aided and abetted" Iraq in committing "war crimes", Reza Nasri, an Iran-born international law expert at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (GIIDS) in Geneva. 

Chilean Mayor First to Criminalize Sexual Harassment

Posted on 18 April 2018 by TeleSUR English 
The mayor of the Chilean commune of Recoleta, Daniel Jadue, has implemented the country's first laws to criminalize street harassment. “We are beginning the path toward liberating public spaces in Recoleta from sexual assault,” the prominent Communist Party of Chile militant said.


Posted on 18 April 2018 by The New York Times
Seven Myanmar military personnel convicted in a massacre of Rohingya Muslims went free in a mass amnesty, a TV station said. The report was quickly taken down. The jailing of the seven, three officers and four soldiers, was announced only on April 10, a rare admission of guilt by armed forces accused by the international community of unleashing a scorched-earth campaign in northern Rakhine State last year that compelled around 700,000 Rohingya Muslims to flee Myanmar, a predominantly Buddhist country, for Bangladesh. The United Nations has called the military campaign “ethnic cleansing.”
Posted on 16 April 2018 by Amnesty International
Iraqi women and children with perceived ties to the armed group calling itself the Islamic State (IS) are being denied humanitarian aid and prevented from returning to their homes, with an alarming number of women subjected to sexual violence.

Invisible Victims of Sexual Violence: Access to Justice for Women and Girls with Disabilities in India 

Posted on 3 April 2018 by Human Rights Watch 
This report details the challenges many women and girls with disabilities face throughout the justice process in India. Access to justice is particularly difficult for women and girls with disabilities largely due to the stigma associated with their sexuality and disability. As a result, they often do not get the support they need at every stage of the justice process: reporting the abuse to police, getting appropriate medical care, and navigating the court system. As former chairwoman of the National Commission for Women, Lalitha Kumaramangalam, said in December 2015: “One of the biggest challenges for women [with disabilities] is access [to services], not just physical but access across the board.

March 2018

Posted on 26 March 2018 by Courrier International
On the occasion of the centenary of the Belarusian People's Republic, the party was overshadowed by the numerous arrests of opponents, journalists and ordinary citizens who did not want to submit to the official "scenario".
Posted on 26 March by TeleSUR English 
Thousands took to the streets Monday to protest three years of aggression by Saudi Arabia and its allies in a war that has been backed by several Western governments. March 26, 2018 marks the third year since a Saudi Arabia-led coalition began a series of offensive attacks on Yemen, and the Houthi rebels who ousted an unpopular government in 2015.

Posted on 22 March 2018 by Human Rights Watch 

This report finds that despite Lebanese law bars schools from discriminating against children with disabilities, Lebanese schools exclude many children with disabilities. For those allowed to enroll, schools often lack reasonable accommodations, such as modifications to the classroom environment and curricula or teaching methods to address children’s needs. Schools also require the families of children with disabilities to pay extra fees and expenses that in effect are discriminatory.


Killing of Rio de Janeiro Councilwoman Critical of Police Rattles Brazil


Posted on 15 March 2018 by The New York Times 
Marielle Franco, a political rising star and human rights advocate, was killed on her way home from an event empowering black women. On the eve of her killing on a downtown street on Wednesday night, the Rio de Janeiro councilwoman suggested that the death of a young man earlier in the week had been the latest act of police brutality.


Remaking Rakhine State


Posted on 11 March 2018 by Amnesty International 

Flattening of Rohingya villages and new construction have intensified since January in areas where hundreds of thousands fled the military’s campaign of ethnic cleansing last year. New roads and structures are being built over burned Rohingya villages and land, making it even less likely for refugees to return to their homes.

Posted on 11 March 2018 by Reuters
The Syrian army broke apart the rebel enclave in eastern Ghouta on Sunday, cutting off two major towns from the rest of the area, state media said, after a fierce battle waged under cover of an unrelenting bombardment. More than 1,100 civilians have been killed in the onslaught on the biggest rebel stronghold near Damascus since it began three weeks ago with a withering bombardment, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Posted on 7 March 2018 by Human Rights Watch 
This report examines the Saudi criminal justice system and the due process violations in criminal cases involving Pakistanis. The violations include long periods of detention without charge or trial, lack of access to legal assistance, pressure on detainees to sign confessions and accept predetermined prison sentences to avoid prolonged arbitrary detention, and ineffective translation services. Some defendants reported ill-treatment and poor prison conditions.
Posted on 6 March 2018 by The New York Times
More aggressive enforcement has led to a large drop in illegal marriages, a new report finds. But in some areas, it is still a struggle to protect children.


February 2018

Posted on 19 February 2018 by Human Rights Watch 
This report examines how recent laws allow space to discriminate against LGBT people in adoption and foster care, health care, and access to some goods and services. Human Rights Watch found that these laws fail to balance moral and religious objections to LGBT relationships and identities with the rights of LGBT people themselves.
Posted on 27 February 2018 by The New York Times 
A speech in Geneva by Iran’s minister of justice, Seyyed Alireza Avaei, who has been the subject of sanctions for his role in human rights abuses, caused diplomats to walk out. Mr. Avaei acquired a notorious reputation for the arbitrary executions of thousands of opponents. Mr. Avaei seized the opportunity to denounce what he called the domination and manipulation of international human rights mechanisms by countries like the United States and defended Iran's record, saying the government had thoroughly revised its penal code and criminal procedures to increase safeguards and rights of the accused.
Posted on 23 January 2018 by Amnesty International
This report explores the common practice of Mexican migration authorities routinely turning back thousands of people from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala to their countries without considering the risk to their life and security upon return, in many cases violating international and domestic law by doing so.
Posted on 6 February 2018 by Human Rights Watch 
This report examines how prisoners with disabilities, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners, are at serious risk of bullying, harassment, violence, and abuse from fellow prisoners and staff. Prisoners with psycho-social disabilities – mental health conditions – or cognitive disabilities in particular can spend days, weeks, months, and sometimes even years locked up alone in detention or safety units. 
Posted on 8 February 2018 by The New York Times
Ethiopia will release 746 more prisoners, including a journalist and a senior opposition official who was jailed for conspiracy to commit terrorist acts. The decision is a result of the government trying to reduce tension in the nation, which has experienced civil unrest since 2015.
Posted on 6 February by Reuters
Health care and sanitation facilities in Gaza are running low on fuel and need outside support, warns the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. The UN office says at least $6.5 million worth of emergency fuel is needed this year.


December 2017

Posted on 2 December 2017 by The New York Times 
In a report released in October, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights said that Myanmar’s security forces had worked to “effectively erase all signs of memorable landmarks in the geography of the Rohingya landscape and memory in such a way that a return to their lands would yield nothing but a desolate and unrecognizable terrain.”
Posted on 5 December 2017 by Human Rights Watch 
This report documents 43 cases in which immigrants, many of them long-term residents with strong family and other US ties, were deported through proceedings that largely disregard immigrants’ fundamental rights and almost never take due consideration of their US homes and families. Teams of Human Rights Watch researchers interviewed the deportees inside Mexico. The report also analyzes US government data on arrests and deportations in the first seven months of the Trump administration.
Posted on 11 December by Amnesty International 
In a 60-page report – ‘Libya’s dark web of collusion’ – Amnesty International shows how European governments are actively supporting a system of abuse of refugees and migrants by the Libyan Coast Guard, the detention authorities in Libya and smugglers operating in the country.
Posted on 14 December 2017 by Human Rights Watch 
Human Rights Watch previously documented widespread sexual violence against women and girls, as well as incidents of sexual violence against men and boys, following Kenya’s 2007–2008 election. This report documents similar patterns of sexual violence surrounding the 2017 elections. It demonstrates the Kenyan state’s/authorities’ failure to prevent election-related sexual violence, properly investigate cases, hold perpetrators accountable, and ensure survivors of sexual violence have access to comprehensive, quality, and timely post-rape care.
Posted on 20 December 2017 by The New York Times 
The United Nations High Commissioner for human rights, who has openly criticized powerful governments, including the Trump administration, has made the unusual decision to not seek a second four-year term, saying it “might involve bending a knee in supplication.”
Posted on 25 December 2017 by Al Jazeera 
According to a report released by Human Rights Watch earlier this year, Bangladesh's "law enforcement authorities have illegally detained hundreds of people since 2013", and 90 people were victims of "enforced disappearances" last year alone.
Posted on 26 December 2017 by ABC News
Critics contend that Macron's increasingly tough policy on migrants — though wrapped in a cloak of goodwill — contradicts his image as a humanist who defeated an anti-immigrant populist for the presidency, and has crossed a line passed by no other president in the land that prides itself as the cradle of human rights.

November 2017

Family members behind half of child trafficking cases, says UN-backed data study (article)
Posted on 29 November 2017 by India Today
A study by the United Nations' migration agency, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), reveals that in almost half of the child trafficking case a family member is involved. 
No Safe Place: LGBTI Salvadorians, Guatemalan, and Hondurans seeking asylum in Mexico (Report)
Posted on 27 November 2017 by Amnesty International 
This report examines the lives and safety of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people (LGBTI) from violence-ridden El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras are at an increased risk as authorities in their countries fail to protect them, leaving them with no choice but to flee their countries and face further dangers in Mexico.

“Have You Considered Your Parents’ Happiness?” Conversion Therapy Against LGBT People in China (Report)
Posted on 15 November 2017 by Human Rights Watch 
This report is based on interviews with 17 people who endured conversion therapy, describes how parents threatened, coerced, and sometimes physically forced their adult and adolescent children to submit to conversion therapy. In these facilities – including both public hospitals, which are government-run and monitored, and private clinics, which are licensed and supervised by the National Health and Family Planning Commission – medical professionals subjected them to “therapy” that in some cases entailed involuntary confinement, forcible medication, and electroshocks, which can constitute a form of torture. 

Yemen’s War Is a Tragedy. Is It Also a Crime? (Article)
Posted on 22 November 2017 by The New York Times
Experts say the parties waging war in Yemen may be carrying out crimes against humanity. United Nations experts have warned that some of the actions carried out by the warring parties — the Saudi-led coalition and the Iran-backed Houthi rebels — could amount to crimes against humanity because of their systematic and widespread execution.

Posted on 8 November 2017 by Human Rights Watch
This report finds that women and girls who survive rape and other sexual violence often suffer humiliation at police stations and hospitals. Police are frequently unwilling to register their complaints, victims and witnesses receive little protection, and medical professionals still compel degrading “two-finger” tests. These obstacles to justice and dignity are compounded by inadequate health care, counseling, and legal support for victims during criminal trials of the accused.
Posted on 9 November 2017 by The New York Times 
The authorities in Papua New Guinea have vowed to use force, if necessary, to remove hundreds of migrants and refugees protesting at a closed detention center on the remote Manus Island if the men have not left of their own accord by Saturday. United Nations experts on Thursday said that Australia was responsible for the developing humanitarian crisis, urging the government to move the men to safety in Australia and to end its policy of sending asylum seekers to offshore centers. The United Nations Human Rights Committee, a panel of independent experts, bluntly rejected Australia’s position that it had no obligation toward the welfare of migrants it had sent to the center because they were not on Australian soil.
October 2017
Posted on 4 October 2017 by The New York Times 
The United Nations has placed Saudi Arabia on a draft blacklist of countries that kill and maim children in war, a contentious decision that, if finalized, could enrage one of the organization’s most generous donors.
Posted on 5 October 2017 by Human Rights Watch 
This report documents 305 cases of rape and sexual slavery by members of armed groups between early 2013 and mid-2017. The predominantly Muslim Seleka and the largely Christian and animist militia known as “anti-balaka,” two main parties to the conflict, have used sexual violence as revenge for perceived support of those on the other side of the sectarian divide in the Central African Republic. ''


Posted on 16 October by United Nations Human Rights - Office of the High Commissioner 

Kenya must lift its newly-imposed ban on protests in key cities, end police brutality during demonstrations, and halt attacks on the judiciary and civil society in the tense run-up to presidential elections on 26 October, a group of UN experts* has urged.

Posted on 12 October 2017 by Human Rights Watch 
This report details credible evidence of 11 cases of serious abuse in detention, involving scores of individuals, all but one within the past seven months in Turkey. Human Rights Watch documented five cases of abductions in Ankara and Izmir between March and June 2017 that could amount to enforced disappearances – cases in which the authorities take a person into custody but deny it or refuse to provide information about the person’s whereabouts.
Posted on 4 October 2017 by Amnesty International

This report examines harrowing cases of Afghans who have been returned from Norway, the Netherlands, Sweden and Germany only to be killed, injured in bomb attacks, or left to live in constant fear of being persecuted for their sexual orientation or conversion to Christianity.

Posted on 15 October 2017 by Human Rights Watch
This report documents excessive use of force by police, and in some cases other security agents, against protesters and residents in some of Nairobi’s opposition strongholds after the elections.
Posted on 20 October 2017 by teleSUR English
An Indigenous leader and his son have been killed in Tumaco, located in Colombia's southwest Nariño department, adding to the list of murdered social leaders following the signing of the country's peace agreement.
Posted on 17 October by Amnesty International 
This report examines how Myanmar’s security forces are carrying out a systematic, organized and ruthless campaign of violence against the Rohingya population as a whole in northern Rakhine State, after a Rohingya armed group attacked around 30 security posts on August 25th. 



September 2017

Posted on 28 September 2017 by Amnesty International 
This report Thailand's refugee policies as the world's fastest-growing refugee crisis is underway. The report outlines a number of failures by the Thai government that has resulted in devasting impacts on refugees in the country and seeking safety there. These failures include the practice of using the navy to repel boats carrying hundreds of Rohingya refugees and forcibly returning refugees to places where they are at risk of persecution.


Posted 14 September 2017 by teleSUR English
Catalan separatists are beginning the independence campaign referendum, an act which has been declared illegal by the Spanish government in Madrid.
Posted 7 September 2017 by Human Rights Watch 
This report examines existing evidence and testimony by several soldiers who tortured, killed, and forcibly disappeared people during Peru's armed conflict in the 1990s. According to the soldiers, they committed these egregious human rights violations under the orders of former president Ollanta Humala Tasso. The evidence concerns crimes committed by soldiers based in Madre Mía in the Alto Huallaga region. The report finds that the evidence and testimony credibly implicates Humala in the commission of atrocities and the attempted cover-up of incriminating evidence when he ran for president.


March 2017 
Posted 1 March 2017 by Human Rights Watch  
This report finds that the Philippine National Police has repeatedly carried out extrajudicial killings of drug suspects and then falsely claimed self-defense. They plant guns, spent ammunition, and drug packets on their victims’ bodies to implicate them in drug activities. No police officials have been meaningfully investigated, let alone prosecuted, for any of the “drug war” killings.
Posted 13 March 2017 by The Guardian
Indonesia has transferred a convicted US citizen to its so-called ‘execution island,’ prompting fears among rights organizations that the government may be preparing another round of firing squads.


Posted 1 March 2017 by Amnesty International
This report documents that Romani children are systemically denied their rights to education and non-discrimination in primary education in Slovakia. They are segregated in Roma-only mainstream schools or classes, or special schools and classes for children with “mild mental disabilities.”


Posted January 2017 by FIDH and Lawyers for Human Rights
This report documents a widespread and precipitous decline in both environmental and socio-economic standards since the collapse of the Blyvooruitzicht Gold Mine in South Africa in 2013.


Posted March 2017 by Freedom House
This report evaluates the state of freedom in 195 countries and 14 territories during the calendar year 2016, and finds that with populist and nationalist forces making significant gains in democratic states, 2016 marked the 11th consecutive year of decline in global freedom.


Posted February 2017 by Freedom House
This report is a detailed examination of the dynamics of religious revival, repression, and resistance in China today, as well as their recent evolution and broader implications.


February 2017

This new report by Amnesty International exposes the Syrian government’s calculated campaign of extrajudicial executions by mass hangings at Saydnaya Prison. Between 2011 and 2015, every week and often twice a week, groups of up to 50 people were taken out of their prison cells and hanged to death. In five years, as many as 13,000 people, most of them civilians believed to be opposed to the government, were hanged in secret at Saydnaya.


“I Had A Dream to Finish School”: Barriers to Secondary Education in Tanzania

This report highlights key barriers to secondary education in Tanzania that prevent many adolescents from completing secondary education. Instead of enrolling in school, many children resort to child labor, often in exploitative, abusive, or hazardous conditions, in violation of Tanzanian law, to supplement their family’s income.


Pakistan Coercion, UN Complicity: The Mass Forced Return of Afghan Refugees

In the second half of 2016, a toxic combination of deportation threats and police abuses pushed out nearly 365,000 of Pakistan’s 1.5 million registered Afghan refugees, as well as just over 200,000 of the country’s estimated 1 million undocumented Afghans. The exodus amounts to the world’s largest unlawful mass forced return of refugees in recent times.


Thousands of Roma 'made homeless' in France in 2016

A civil rights group reports that more than six in ten Roma families are forcibly evicted. Almost 3,000 Roma were forced from their camps between October and December, a 17 percent increase from the previous quarter.


Austria moves to ban full-face veil in public spaces

Austria's coalition government has announced plans to ban full-face veils in public and to restrict eastern European workers' access to the country's labor market. The proposals were announced as part of a wider government program aimed at countering the rise of the far-right, anti-Islam Freedom Party.


Forbidden love: Valentine's Day banned for some in Asia

Valentine's Day celebrations were banned by authorities in parts of Indonesia and Pakistan, home to Asia's largest Muslim populations, saying the romantic tradition encouraged casual sex and ran counter to cultural norms.



December 2016

This article speaks both to the historical and current conditions of relations between Tibet, Mongolia, and China. It offers such historical depths that should allow us to understand Buddhism as the foundation of the relations between these countries.

This article talks about the differentiation of exercise of religious freedom and political engagement on the issue of Dalai Lama and the future of Mongolia-China relations.

November 2016

11/03/16: Belgium's Counterterror Responses To The Paris And Brussels Attack
In the last twelve months, the Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the deadliest attacks in decades in France and Belgium. In response the Belgian government has enacted new counterterrorism laws and regulations, some of which raise serious concerns of human rights violations. This report recommends the removal of overly broad language and ensure adequate judicial oversight; for Belgium’s director of prisons to immediately end the blanket application of prolonged solitary confinement for terrorism-related detainees; and for federal and local authorities to apply zero tolerance for any police abuse and ensure victims have prompt and impartial access to remedies provided under Belgian law.

11/03/16:Refugees Return From kenya To Somalia: This Is About Fear Not About Choice.
In response to the impending closure of the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya, this report offers recommendations to prevent endangering the lives of several hundred thousands of Somali refugees who are coerced into repatriating to their homeland, where insecurity and an ongoing humanitarian crisis continue.


10/28/16: Meet The Tank Girls Taking On Al-Shabab
Around 500 Ugandan women currently serve in the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), despite Somalia being ranked as one of the most dangerous places to be a woman. This article examines the benefits of the female contingent on peacekeeping, from reducing the likelihood of sexual violence against civilians to enhancing the mission’s ability to address gender-based violence.

10/25/16: Mosul Fight Unleashes New Horrors On Civilians
Just ten days into the offensive to retake Mosul from the Islamic State, the terrorist group has moved hundreds of civilians from villages around the city to use as human shields, and the United Nations say the militants may have killed nearly 200 people, including civilians and children.

10/24/16:A Blank Check: Turkey's Post-Coup Suspension of Safeguards Against Torture
Following the attempted coup d’état in Turkey on July 15-16, 2016, the government declared a state of emergency, under which it passed two emergency decrees that removed crucial safeguards that can protect detainees from ill-treatment and torture.This report focuses on the period of police detention—the period when detainees are likely to be most vulnerable to abuse.

10/20/16: Managing the "Boat People" Crisis: The Comprehensive Plan of Action for Indochinese Refugees
The Vietnamese “boat people” exodus was the last major refugee crisis of the Cold War with the international response taking the form of the Comprehensive Plan of Action for Indochinese Refugees, in place from 1989-1996. This paper offer a detailed look at the negotiation, contents, reception, and implementation of the plan, and provides lessons that could inform responses to other refugee crises.

10/12/16: After Torture, Ex-Detainee is Still Captive of 'The Darkness' 
The United States military and the CIA incarcerated Suleiman Abdullah Salim—one of 39—in a secret prison and subjected him to some of the CIA’s most brutal interrogation techniques. After being held without charge for years, he was found not to be a terrorist threat and still pays a deep price to this day.

10/12/16: China Tells Citizens to Inform on Parents who 'Lure' Kids Into Religion
In the majority-Muslim northwestern region of Xinjiang, new education rules encourage people to inform on parents who send their kids to religious schools or “coerce” them to practice religion. This ruling is a continuation of China’s efforts to “tamp down” its Uighur minority and Muslim communities. 

10/16: Every 25 Seconds: The Human Toll Of Criminalizing Drug Use in the United States: 
Around the United States, police make more arrests for drug possession than for any other crime. This report, focusing on Texas, Louisiana, Florida, and New York, shows how criminalizing drug possession has caused dramatic and unnecessary harm in these states and around the country, both for individuals and for communities that are subject to discriminatory enforcement. 

10/03/16: "No" Vote on Colombia Peace Deal Must Not End Peace Process
Following the rejection of the peace deal between the government of Colombia and the FARC by the Colombian people in a countrywide referendum, this article proposes possible opportunities to save the peace process, including a revised deal addressing main grievances and an all-inclusive national dialogue.

10/03/16: Signaling a Boost For Gender Equality, Liberia Passes The "Affirmative Action Bill"
Liberia, ranked among the lowest in the world in terms of women’s representation in governance, passes the Equal Representation and Participation Act of 2016, establishing seven ‘Special Constituencies,’ among which five seats would be reserved for men, one for youth and one for the disabled.

10/03/16: U.S.: Ex-Detainees Describe Unreported CIA Torture
In this report, two Tunisians formerly held in secret United States CIA custody describe previously unreported methods of torture that shed new light on the earliest days of the CIA program.



09/28/16: Report On The Occasion Of HRC's 2016 Review Of Morroco's Implementation Of the ICCPR
This alternative report submitted to the UN Human Rights Committee considers the status of Western Sahara as it reviews Morocco’s human rights record, and includes detailed recommendations for the HRC.

09/18/16: Democratic Republic of Congo At Precipice: Ending Repression And Promoting Democratic Rule
As the presidential term of President Joseph Kabila nears an end, due to expire on December 19, 2016, and as plans for a presidential election remain stalled, this article examines the arising tensions in the Democratic Republic of Congo and offers recommendations to prevent a broader crisis.

09/22/16: Why Is Asia MIA on Refugees?
This article details the contributions of Asian states to humanitarian crises, calling particularly on the wealthier nations to improve their national and regional efforts to open borders to refugees and asylum seekers.

09/16: Military And The Arc Of Instability
This report examines the evolution of extremist groups in the Sahel and the complicated interplay of political, social, and economic pressures that have shaped their strategies, and capabilities, and their sources of potential resilience.

09/07/16: Colombia's Final Steps To The End Of The War
This comprehensive report on Colombia focuses on the challenges of a successful plebiscite, Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) handover of arms, and the UN mission, and offers recommendations to assure an effective transition from war to post-conflict.

09/21/16: Disasters Are Fuelling Displacement And Migration
This article highlights the role of natural disasters in the global displacement crisis and recommends greater investment in disaster risk reduction strategies.

09/20/16: Nigeria: You Have Signed Your Death Warrant
This report details the human rights violations committed by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a branch of the Nigerian police created to fight violent crime. AmnestyInternational’s research exposes the widespread torture used to extract information and“confessions,” and shows that officers involved in the “extractions” are rarely held accountable.

09/16: Transnational Organized Crime the Pacific: A Threat Assessment
This report presents major threats posed by transnational organized crime in the Pacific region, focusing on drug and precursor trafficking; trafficking in persons & smuggling of migrants; environmental crimes; and small arms trafficking.

09/16/16: Four Countries That Opened Their Closed Institutions--And Prevented Torture
This article explores the prevention of torture and ill treatment in prisons by opening closed institutions to unannounced visits by independent experts. Citing success stories that have implemented the practice, the article elaborates on the “[Jean-Jacques] Gautier proposal” and the prospect of reformed detention practices worldwide.



09/12/16: Migration in Europe: Bridging the Solidarity Gap
Reflecting on the shift in European politics and culture after the largest humanitarian crises since World War II, this report examines the behaviors of the European Union member states amidst the evolving refugee crisis, from a rise in right-wing politics to the closing of national borders within the Schengen zone, leaving an imbalance in burden-sharing. Among other recommendations, the report calls for a holistic effort to settle the crisis and to expand the response further than two-sided agreements, such as that with Turkey, which leaves room more vulnerability especially during a time of political instability in the nation.

09/12/16: Key Questions for South Sudan's New Protection Force
This comprehensive article details the recent UN authorization to deploy a regional protection force (RPF) of 4,000 troops as part of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). Author Paul D. Williams considers the rationale of the RPF, the necessary conditions for the mandate’s success—of which there are many—and proposes the establishment of a transitional administration in South Sudan to ease the civil war, which is currently nearing its third year in the country’s five-year existence.

09/12/16: War Crimes Shouldn't Pay: Stopping the Looting and Destruction in South Suden
After a two-year investigation into the financial assets of the heads of warring political parties in South Sudan, the Sentry exposes the wealth of government officials built upon an empire of civil instability. In light of the redirection of public funds to personal bank accounts or to the weaponizing of armed groups, the organization calls for a new approach to dismantling the web of nepotism and corruption. The Sentry offers in its inaugural report the possibility of “targeted asset freezing” for top government officials in order to promote good governance, protection of human rights, and increased accountability.

09/07/16: Our Time to Sing and Play: Child Marriage in Nepal
In this report from the Human Rights Watch (HRW), the organization examines the gender-based and socioeconomic drivers and consequences of child marriage in Nepal, the country with the third highest rate of child marriage in Asia. Despite outlawing child marriage since 1963, the financial incentives for forcing young girls to marry combined with the discrimination against women who are viewed as a “burden” result in a population plagued with poor education, poverty, and widespread violations of children’s and women’s rights. The Nepalese government’s attempts to fight child marriage through improved educational and medical facilities has proven ineffective, as the victims of child marriage in rural communities often lack the access or funding to state-led initiatives. The report offers respective recommendations to the Nepalese government, its ministries, the UN, and to international donors to remobilize the campaign against child marriage, including tethering the initiative to its commitments to the 2030 Agenda under goal five, “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls”; strengthening age-verification procedures; raising awareness in local communities on the dangers of child marriage; improving access to education for young girls; and providing information on reproductive health to marginalized communities.


MAY 2016

5/13/16:United Nations orders plan for tackling online terror propaganda

The United Nations Security Council is going to try to do something about the internet's role in promoting hateful ideologies and terrorism.


5/12/16: Trump and the Latin-Americanization of U.S. Politics

For those of us who study Latin America, it has been fascinating to watch the gradual but certain Latin-Americanization of U.S. politics. The latest and most compelling sign yet is the rise of Republican presidential contender Donald J. Trump, whose braggadocio, demagoguery, and disdain for the rule of law puts him squarely in the tradition of El Caudillo (loosely translated into English as “the leader” or “the chief”), a mainstay of Latin American politics. Although difficult to define, the phenomenon of caudillismo is easy to trace through Latin American history. During its golden age—the nineteenth century—the typical caudillo was a charismatic man on horseback with a penchant for authoritarianism.


5/12/16:Morocco's Islamic Exports

The upscale middle-class suburb of Rabat is packed with nondescript office buildings and recently built apartment blocks, telltale signs of the widening prosperity of Morocco’s capital. But nestled behind these structures is a marker of a very different sort: a multi million-dollar academic campus that houses the kingdom’s premier religious training academy, formally known as the Mohammed VI Institute for the Training of Imams


5/11/16:U.N. investigators tell states to stop Syria war crime

States backing Syria's peace process must stop the warring parties from attacking unlawful targets such as hospitals and other civilian sites, U.N. war crimes investigators said in a statement on Wednesday.


5/10/16: USAID suspends funds to major aid groups after inquiry finds corruption in Syrian aid pipeline

Millions of dollars to major aid organizations working in Syria was temporarily suspended following revelations of systemic corruption. An investigation revealed bid-rigging, bribery and kickback schemes involving organizations and individuals based in neighboring Turkey and Jordan that provide humanitarian assistance in Syria. Further, the evidence suggests that people were working together to create this rigged system.


5/10/16:Anti-Semitism and Terrorism

Last week, Londoners elected Sadiq Khan, a human rights lawyer and a former member of Parliament for the Labour Party, as their first Muslim mayor. Khan was predicted to win, but in the last minute an ugly row over anti-Semitism in the party ranks threatened to derail his election and forced Khan to denounce Ken Livingstone, a former London mayor who is stalwart of the Left


5/10/16:Why accepting migrants and refugees can be a win for everyone

The numbers are astronomical. More than 60 million people have been forcibly displaced either within countries or internationally. There are 19.6 million refugees -- a 24 per cent increase since 2000. Half of them are children. Last year, the number of migrants who have left their countries in search of a better life reached 225 million.


5/10/16:How International Law Failed in Syria

The intentional targeting of hospitals and medical staff is not unique to the Syrian war; they’ve been hit in the wars in Yemen, South Sudan, and Sri Lanka as well. In fact, the problem is so grave that the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) has launched a new project called Health Care in Danger to raise awareness of the systemic problem.


5/10/16:Abe Should Visit Pearl Harbor

According to the New York Times, U.S. President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima during this month’s G-7 summit in Japan. His doing so will be a welcome gesture that would encourage the nuclear nonproliferation regime, help strengthen the U.S.-Japanese alliance, and aid Washington’s rebalance to Asia, which depends on strong partnerships with regional allies. The timing couldn’t be better: all of those initiatives have been challenged by North Korea’s recent nuclear tests and China’s increasing military assertiveness in the South China Sea.


5/10/16:Obama to Be First Sitting President to Visit Hiroshima

President Obama will become the first sitting American president to visit Hiroshima, Japan, making a heavily symbolic stop this month at the site where the United States first used an atomic bomb at the end of World War II.


5/10/16:UN's Kubis: Iraq must pursue inclusive political system

The top U.N. envoy in Iraq strongly urged the country's political leaders and civil society on Friday to work together to resolve the current political deadlock, warning that the ongoing crisis and chaos are only serving the interests of Islamic State extremists.


5/10/16:Turkey's King

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu’s May 5 resignation at the request of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is a further consolidation of power in the hands of a man who is already the most powerful politician in Turkey since the country became a multiparty democracy in 1950.


5/6/16: The Israeli Defense Forces Fill the Void

Next week, Israel will be transfixed by the trial of Elor Azaria, a sergeant in the Israeli Defense Forces who was indicted for manslaughter in the Jaffa Military Court for allegedly shooting a Palestinian stabber who was wounded and lying motionless on the ground. The whole incident, which took place in Hebron in March, was captured on video and quickly went viral

5/5/16:China's Megamall Ambitions in the Middle East

Zhu is but one of the thousands of Chinese workers who have come to the Gulf for better opportunities. The region is part of China’s so-called New Silk Road project, which connects Chinese companies to markets in the Middle East, Africa, and throughout Asia. And Dragon City is an important brick in the road.

5/5/16: Why Putin Took Crimea

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s seizure of the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine in early 2014 was the most consequential decision of his 16 years in power. By annexing a neighboring country’s territory by force, Putin overturned in a single stroke the assumptions on which the post–Cold War European order had rested.

5/5/16:At climate summit in Washington, UN officials call to take action ‘to the next level’

 Recalling that just two weeks ago, 175 countries came to the United Nations to sign the historic Paris Agreement on climate change, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today said it is time to take climate action to the next level.

5/5/16:At World Humanitarian Summit, leaders must take ‘bold decisions’ for real change – UN

As world leaders prepare to gather for a first-ever World Humanitarian Summit in Turkey later this month, the United Nations humanitarian coordinators for the Middle East and North Africa today called on the international community to assume its responsibility in finding solutions to end the widespread conflict and humanitarian crises in the region.

5/4/16: The (Con)Fusion of Civilizations

Ancient superstitions and clashing cultures did not lead the United States into war in Iraq in 2003; on the contrary, the people who conceived and sold that war were the products of America’s finest universities and were presumably well schooled in post-Enlightenment rationalism and basic cost-benefit analysis. Yale- and Harvard-educated George W. Bush was even lauded as “the MBA President,” and he was surrounded by people with similar pedigrees. Yet these highly educated, rational individuals still blundered into an unnecessary and disastrous war.

5/3/16:Greece's Next Bailout Battle

The Greek crisis erupted in 2009 and peaked for the first time in the spring of 2010. Unable to refinance its enormous debt, Greece was bailed out by the European Commission, the European Central Bank, and the IMF.

5/3/16:Poor Substitute

The announcement last week that Australia will replace its aging submarine fleet with Shortfin Barracuda submarines from France is an enormous missed opportunity, not only for Australia, but also for its most important allies, Japan and the United States. Had Canberra opted for a modified version of Japan’s Soryu-class vessel, it would have not only altered the way Washington interacts with its allies and the way its allies interact with one another, but also compelled Beijing to reassess the determination of all three to maintain a favorable balance of power in East Asia.

5/3/16: U.N. Security Council Condemns Attacks on Health Workers in War Zones

Warplanes level a hospital in the rebel-held half of Aleppo, Syria, killing one of the city’s last pediatricians. A Saudi-led military coalition bombs a hospital in Yemen. In Afghanistan, American aircraft pummel a hospital mistaken for a Taliban redoubt.

5/3/16:Attacks on Hospitals Are 'War Crimes,' UN Chief Says

The Security Council unanimously adopted a new resolution demanding that all parties in conflicts protect medical staff and facilities.

5/3/16: Security Council demands protection for hospitals and health workers in conflict zones

With increasing wartime assaults on and patterns of systematic destruction of health facilities in countries affected by conflict, the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution today to strengthen protection for health care workers, the sick and wounded, hospitals and clinics, in war zones.

5/2/16: Kerry aims to extend truce to Syria's Aleppo as ceasefire unravels

Washington and Moscow said on Monday they were working hard to extend a truce in Syria to Aleppo, the divided northern city where a sharp escalation of violence in recent weeks has left a ceasefire in tatters and torpedoed peace talks.

5/1/16:Why Syrians are Abandoning the Group

Two years after he joined the Islamic State (ISIS), Ammar was no longer a believer. A former law student from the Syrian province of Deir Ezzor, Ammar had been swept up in the 2011 protests against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. He turned to ISIS in November 2014, after watching the revolution degenerate into a devastating civil war. The caliphate, he believed, was the only force capable of challenging the Assad regime and restoring the dignity of Muslims after decades of humiliation and oppression by the West. He genuinely believed that ISIS wanted to bring justice and security to his country.

APRIL 2016

4/29/16: 'Lethal escalation' in Syria being readied: U.N. rights boss

Escalating violence across Syria which has seen a fragile truce agreement unravel and peace talks collapse could release new levels of horror, the U.N. human rights chief said on Friday, saying all parties have shown a "monstrous disregard" for civilian lives.

4/29/16: Punishing 16, Pentagon Says Mistakes Led to Hospital Attack

Mistakes by the crew flying an AC-130 gunship, compounded by equipment and procedural failures, led to the devastating attack on a Doctors Without Borders hospital in northern Afghanistan last year, and 16 American military personnel, including a general officer, have been punished for their roles in the strike, the Defense Department announced on Friday.

4/29/16:What the Reappraisal of Soviet Russia's Top Agricultural Mastermind Says About Putin's Russia

Lysenko was once the Soviet Union’s top agricultural mastermind, supported by Joseph Stalin Himself. Even at the height of his power, however, Lysenko’s controversial theories on how plants and animals genetically adapt to their surroundings were dismissed by most of his peers. Yet Lysenko’s political influence was so great that he managed to have many of his rivals killed. His pseudoscience thus dominated Soviet academia for decades—causing profound damage to Russian research and agricultural production.

4/28/16: Why China Won’t Overtake the United States

By many measures, after all, China’s economy is on track to become the world’s biggest, and even if its growth slows, it will still outpace that of the United States for many years. Its coffers overflowing, Beijing has used its new wealth to attract friends, deter enemies, modernize its military, and aggressively assert sovereignty claims in its periphery. For many, therefore, the question is not whether China will become a superpower but just how soon.

4/28/16: A New Model for Helping the Displace

The Syrian refugee crisis has attracted Western attention largely because of its modest spillover into Europe. But this spillover represents a mere fraction of the misery caused by mass displacement today: only around 15 percent of Syria’s 5.8 million refugees have attempted to reach Europe, and the Syrian refugee surge is itself only one of several around the world.

4/27/16: The Economics of Living at the Top of the World

For decades, anyone who settled there was primarily in the area to mine, but in 2013, hit by low oil prices, coal became unprofitable and Norway decided to diversify away from fossil fuels. It committed to developing more renewable energy sources, transitioning slowly from oil to gas and selling off coal stocks from its $900 billion sovereign wealth fund, the largest in the world. Against this background, Norway closed its main coal mine in Svalbard early this year, sending shock waves through the economy of the largest town on Spitsbergen, the only permanently inhabited island in the archipelago.

4/26/16: South Sudan's Machar sworn in as VP, president calls for reconciliation

South Sudanese rebel leader Riek Machar was sworn in as first vice president on Tuesday, hours after he returned to the capital of Juba for the first time since conflict erupted more than two years ago.

4/26/16: The Iranian Revolution and the Enlightenment

Secor, who has reported from and written about Iran for The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, and this publication, has produced a vibrant panorama of contemporary Iran that doubles as a thorough intellectual and political history of the country’s past four decades. She tells the stories of the men who have held power, and also those of the men—and, increasingly, women—who have opposed them: activists, journalists, lawyers, university students, and ordinary citizens who have risked their lives by challenging authority.The Iran that emerges from her account is full of contradictions, complexities, and paradoxes.

4/25/16: UN Security Council 'strongly' condemns N.Korea missile launch

The United Nations Security Council today blasted North Korea for firing what the hermit state claimed was a successful submarine-launched ballistic missile.

4/24/16: The World's Love Affair With Firearms

The United States takes the prize for gun ownership, with almost one gun per person. In fact, if China, Germany, and India are taken out of the equation, the United States, with as many as 270 million guns in the hands of civilians, has more privately owned firearms than the rest of the world put together. No wonder gun advocates there call themselves an army.

4/24/16: U.S. Cyberattacks Target ISIS in a New Line of Combat

The United States has opened a new line of combat against the Islamic State, directing the military’s six-year-old Cyber Command for the first time to mount computer-network attacks that are now being used alongside more traditional weapons.

4/24/16: Fighting Climate Change With Innovation

 As The UN Climate Change Conference in Paris came to a close in December 2015, foreign ministers from around the world raised their arms in triumph. Indeed, there was more to celebrate in Paris than at any prior climate summit. Before the conference, over 180 countries had submitted detailed plans to curb their greenhouse gas emissions. And after two weeks of intense negotiation, 195 countries agreed to submit new, stronger plans every five years.

4/23/16: The Case for Global Optimism

The mood of much of the world is grim these days. Turmoil in the Middle East, causing hundreds of thousands of deaths and millions of refugees; random terrorist attacks across the globe; geopolitical tensions in eastern Europe and Asia; the end of the commodity supercycle; slowing growth in China; and economic stagnation in many countries—all have combined to feed a deep pessimism about the present and, worse, the future.

4/21/16: Why countries should sign the Paris Agreement on climate change -- and why you should care

This Friday, a record number of countries will sign the Paris Agreement on climate change, the historic roadmap for moving to a low-carbon economy and achieving a sustainable future for our planet and its people.

4/21/16: Govt concerned about armed civilians

GOVERNMENT is concerned about the proliferation of small arms and light weapons in the hands of civilians in the country.“The large number of armed civilians is a serious concern, which usually results in the abuse of firearms,” safety and security minister Charles Namoloh said at Walvis Bay yesterday.

4/21/16: UN says Paris Agreement on climate change must aim for long-term environmental stability

As global leaders prepare to sign the Paris Agreement on climate change tomorrow at United Nations Headquarters in New York, the head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction today called on signatories to go beyond their existing commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions if the world is to avoid catastrophic future weather events.

4/21/16: Venezuela Sends Fourth Humanitarian Mission to Ecuador

The government of Venezuela sent Wednesday its fourth humanitarian mission to Ecuador in order to help that country with the disaster left by the worst earthquake in nearly a decade.

4/20/16: Do Older Workforces Contribute to Low Economic Growth?

 It is well known that Western societies are aging and that the relative paucity of young workers will come with all sorts of budgetary challenges. But the real problem is worse than most people imagine: Grey societies are intrinsically less productive than green ones. What’s now at stake is the economic prosperity of the West and the ability of governments to provide for a growing share of inactive people.

4/19/16: Syrian talks appear doomed as air strike kills dozens in market

Syrian peace talks appeared all but doomed on Tuesday after air strikes killed about 40 people in a crowded vegetable market in rebel territory, with the opposition saying a truce was finished and it would keep out of negotiations indefinitely.

4/19/16: Watching American Democracy in China

In this Year of the Monkey, China has been riveted by the U.S. presidential election, and more specifically by Republican contender Donald Trump. Those who usually pontificate on the nature of democracy and about what kind of U.S. president would be better for China are at a loss to explain the Trump phenomenon to the Chinese public.

4/19/16: The Ninjas of Palestine

In just two years, a group of Palestinian teenagers have learned how to somersault off buildings, blow fire, and fight with steel swords. They are learning freestyle nunchaku, a type of martial art that is part showmanship and part combat and involves performing a constant series of moves at high speeds. Ahmed Samour, 21, started the group in the hopes that it would gain as much notoriety as parkour has in Palestine and help lift them out of Gaza, which since the 2014 Israeli offensive, is still in ruins.

4/18/16: Taliban Send Message With Deadly Kabul Attack as Fighting Season Begins

KABUL, Afghanistan — Even in a year when violence across Afghanistandid not relent over the winter months, the Taliban marked the official start of the spring fighting season with a huge truck bomb in the heart of Kabul on Tuesday.

4/18/16: Making Justice Work

On March 21, 2016, the International Criminal Court (ICC) found Congolese rebel leader turned politician Jean-Pierre Bemba guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity. After holding Bemba in detention for nearly eight years, the court determined that Bemba failed to stop his Mouvement de Libération du Congo (MLC) troops from committing atrocities against civilians in the Central African Republic (CAR) during an attempted coup there in 2002–3. Bemba remains in detention pending sentencing and a judgement on reparations.

4/18/16: UN supporting authorities in Ecuador following strongest earthquake in decades

While the Government of Ecuador is leading the response to continue helping people and communities affected by Saturday’s 7.8 magnitude earthquake, the United Nations announced it has deployed relief teams to provide additional support. “The Secretary-General commends the Ecuadorean authorities for their leadership in the rescue effort and in providing relief to affected communities,” said a statement issued by Ban Ki-moon’s spokesperson.

4/18/16: Burundi Is Torturing Prisoners in Crackdown on Dissent, United Nations Says

 Burundi’s security services are torturing and illegally detaining increasing numbers of people, the United Nations said on Monday, reinforcing international alarm over the government’s ferocious crackdown on political opponents.

4/18/16: Russia's Perpetual Geopolitics

For half a millennium, Russian foreign policy has been characterized by soaring ambitions that have exceeded the country’s capabilities. Beginning with the reign of Ivan the Terrible in the sixteenth century, Russia managed to expand at an average rate of 50 square miles per day for hundreds of years, eventually covering one-sixth of the earth’s landmass. By 1900, it was the world’s fourth- or fifth-largest industrial power and the largest agricultural producer in Europe.Russian literacy in the early twentieth century remained below 33 percent—lower than that of Great Britain in the eighteenth century. These comparisons were all well known by the Russian political establishment, because its members traveled to Europe frequently and measured their country against the world’s leaders (something that is true today, as well).

4/18/16:Following earthquake in Japan, UN stands ready to provide assistance

The United Nations stands ready to provide assistance to Japan following powerful earthquakes that struck Kumamoto province last Thursday and Saturday, killing over 40 people and displacing some 110,000 from their homes.

4/18/16:The Clean Energy Revolution

 As the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris came to a close in December 2015, foreign ministers from around the world raised their arms in triumph. Indeed, there was more to celebrate in Paris than at any prior climate summit. Before the conference, over 180 countries had submitted detailed plans to curb their greenhouse gas emissions. And after two weeks of intense negotiation, 195 countries agreed to submit new, stronger plans every five years.

4/17/16:Ecuador earthquake: UN relief chief calls for more support to vulnerable communities

The top United Nations relief official wrapped up his two-day mission to Ecuador yesterday, announcing that he is releasing $7 million from the UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund to assist people affected by the deadly earthquake that struck on Saturday, while calling for more support to vulnerable communities.

4/15/16: Killer Robots: Protectors of Human Rights?

"States should adopt an international, legally binding instrument that prohibits the development, production, and use of fully autonomous weapons," declared Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Harvard Law School's International Human Rights Clinic (IHRC) in an April statement. The two groups issued their report, "Killer Robots and the Concept of Meaningful Human Control," as experts in weapons and international human rights met in Geneva to consider what should be done about lethal autonomous weapon systems (LAWS). It was their third meeting, conducted under the auspices of the Convention on Conventional Weapons.

4/14/16:China cites U.S. gun violence in response to human rights criticism: ‘Hold up a mirror

China, responding to the State Department’s harsh criticism of China’s human rights abuses, condemned the United States’ human rights record Thursday, pointing to police brutality and gun violence in the U.S.

4/14/16:Does the Middle East Need New Borders?

On May 17, 1916, France and the United Kingdom signed the Sykes-Picot agreement, named after the two diplomats who conducted the negotiations. The agreement was the first in a series of treaties that would eventually create the modern states of the Middle East following the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire. One hundred years later, analysts such as Robin Wright and Jeffrey Goldberg predict that the region’s borders will soon be redrawn once more.

4/12/16:The United States Has No Gulf Allies

The word “ally” is used far too casually in Washington’s Middle East lexicon. It’s time to break this bad habit, because the truth is that with the exception of Turkey—a NATO member—the United States does not share a single alliance with any Middle Eastern country. As the U.S.-GCC summit in Riyadh approaches, understanding what really constitutes an alliance couldn’t be more important.

4/10/16: Brussels Attackers’ Original Target Was France, Prosecutor Says

Belgian authorities announced on Sunday that the group of attackers who set off bombs at the Brussels airport and a subway station on March 22 had initially planned to hit France.

4/9/16: Man in Hat in Brussels Airport Attack Is in Custody, Belgium Says

The “man in the hat” who accompanied the two suicide bombers who detonated their explosives at Brussels Airport on March 22, and who was seen in a surveillance video walking away from the airport, has been identified as Mohamed Abrini, the Belgian prosecutor’s office said in a statement on Saturday.

4/9/16: The Race to Run the United Nations

The race to replace Ban Ki-moon, who will step down at the end of the year, fortunately, will be different. At the insistence of small nations that traditionally had no say in the matter, the United Nations has asked that governments that wish to nominate a candidate for the job do so openly. Next week, diplomats from the United Nations’ 193 states will have an opportunity to meet and question the four women and four men who are vying for the job.

4/9/16:Isis spreading 'like cancer' - United Nations

The war raging in Syria has "provided the perfect breeding ground for extremist and terrorists to take root in the society," UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told reporters in Geneva.

4/9/16:Want Heat-Seeking Missiles Or Machine Guns? You Can Buy That Via Facebook In Libya

The research, "The Online Trade Of Light Weapons In Libya," conducted by the Small Arms Survey, provides detailed information on how the firearm trade on Facebook is propagating. It started during the fall of the Qaddafi regime, which had earlier established strict gun control laws that prohibited the trading of gun wares across the country. Libya, then, saw a sudden increase of weapon trade in the black market as regulations were lifted.

4/8/16: UN officials urge boost in development action to meet humanitarian challenges in Africa

Greater efforts in preparedness response, recovery and development interventions are needed from humanitarian actors for African nations to meet the immediate needs of their citizens, become more resilient to shocks and crises, and ultimately achieve food security, senior United Nations officials stressed today.

4/8/16:The Presidential Path to Hiroshima

In 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama made a speech in Prague in which he advocated “the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.” Since then, many Japanese have wondered whether Obama might become the first sitting U.S. president to visit Hiroshima. In May, he will travel to Japan to attend the G-7 summit in Ise-Shima, which has fueled speculation that he might visit the atomic-bombing site during his trip.

4/7/16:Refugees Have a Right to Asylum, Not Bias and Barbed Wire

Refugees have a right to asylum, not bias and barbed wire. Today’s refugee crisis — and the large-scale migration of people in search of opportunity — are signs of deeper challenges. From Syria to Afghanistan to South Sudan, we need to resolve the wars that force people to flee.

4/6/16:Panama Papers Leak Casts Light on a Law Firm Founded on Secrecy

The two men came together in an era of political and economic uncertainty in Panama: One a reserved German immigrant whose father served in the armed wing of the Nazi party, the other a gregarious, aspiring novelist whose family opposed Panama’s military dictatorship.

4/6/16:The Strongwoman of Europe

Almost a year after Europe’s refugee crisis began, the pressure is still on to find a solution. On March 18, Turkey and the European Union, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the forefront, agreed on a deal: for every illegal Syrian refugee returned to Turkey from Greece, one legal Syrian refugee already in Turkey would be resettled in the EU.

4/6/16:Violent extremism mushrooming - UN

Geneva - Countries must urgently cooperate to halt the spread of violent extremism around the globe, the United Nations said on Tuesday, ahead of a high-level conference focused on preventing dangerous radicalisation.

4/5/16:China's Offensive in London

As China sets its sights on European markets, it has zeroed in on London, the continent’s top international financial center. In October 2015, during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to the United Kingdom, the People’s Bank of China announced that it would begin issuing government debt in yuan there—making the City of London the first place outside of China to offer Chinese sovereign debt.

4/4/16:Trump's Base Politics in Asia

Donald Trump, the leading Republican candidate for this fall’s presidential election, has been no stranger to controversy. Washington’s longstanding relationships with its key Northeast Asian allies—Japan and South Korea—were among his recent targets. In an interview last month with The New York Times, Trump questioned the value of the alliances with Tokyo and Seoul, accusing those countries of benefiting from Washington’s security guarantees and offering little in return.

4/3/16:The Myth of the Islamic State

ISIS’ declaration of an Islamic State begs a fundamental question: When and how did that concept become a part of the political vocabulary of Muslim societies? After all, the idea hasn’t been around forever, and its popularity has waxed and waned over time. In fact, its emergence and popularity are tied to the specific conditions of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when Muslim societies responded to European colonial rule.

4/3/16:Exclusive: U.N. audit identifies serious lapses linked to alleged bribery

The United Nations' internal investigations office has uncovered serious lapses and due-diligence failures in the world body's interaction with organizations tied to an alleged bribery scheme involving a former U.N. General Assembly president.

4/3/16:Keeping Up With the Caliphate

In June 2014, a small force of Islamic extremists routed the Iraqi army and seized control of Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city. The militants then swept south, capturing Tikrit, until they occupied an area the size of the United Kingdom stretching across eastern Syria and northwestern Iraq.

4/10/16: Brussels Attackers’ Original Target Was France, Prosecutor Says

Belgian authorities announced on Sunday that the group of attackers who set off bombs at the Brussels airport and a subway station on March 22 had initially planned to hit France.

4/9/16: Man in Hat in Brussels Airport Attack Is in Custody, Belgium Says

The “man in the hat” who accompanied the two suicide bombers who detonated their explosives at Brussels Airport on March 22, and who was seen in a surveillance video walking away from the airport, has been identified as Mohamed Abrini, the Belgian prosecutor’s office said in a statement on Saturday.

4/9/16: The Race to Run the United Nations

The race to replace Ban Ki-moon, who will step down at the end of the year, fortunately, will be different. At the insistence of small nations that traditionally had no say in the matter, the United Nations has asked that governments that wish to nominate a candidate for the job do so openly. Next week, diplomats from the United Nations’ 193 states will have an opportunity to meet and question the four women and four men who are vying for the job.

4/9/16: Isis spreading 'like cancer' - United Nations

The war raging in Syria has "provided the perfect breeding ground for extremist and terrorists to take root in the society," UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told reporters in Geneva.

4/9/16: Want Heat-Seeking Missiles Or Machine Guns? You Can Buy That Via Facebook In Libya

The research, "The Online Trade Of Light Weapons In Libya," conducted by the Small Arms Survey, provides detailed information on how the firearm trade on Facebook is propagating. It started during the fall of the Qaddafi regime, which had earlier established strict gun control laws that prohibited the trading of gun wares across the country. Libya, then, saw a sudden increase of weapon trade in the black market as regulations were lifted.

4/8/16: UN officials urge boost in development action to meet humanitarian challenges in Africa

Greater efforts in preparedness response, recovery and development interventions are needed from humanitarian actors for African nations to meet the immediate needs of their citizens, become more resilient to shocks and crises, and ultimately achieve food security, senior United Nations officials stressed today.

4/8/16: The Presidential Path to Hiroshima

In 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama made a speech in Prague in which he advocated “the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.” Since then, many Japanese have wondered whether Obama might become the first sitting U.S. president to visit Hiroshima. In May, he will travel to Japan to attend the G-7 summit in Ise-Shima, which has fueled speculation that he might visit the atomic-bombing site during his trip.

4/7/16: Refugees Have a Right to Asylum, Not Bias and Barbed Wire

Refugees have a right to asylum, not bias and barbed wire. Today’s refugee crisis — and the large-scale migration of people in search of opportunity — are signs of deeper challenges. From Syria to Afghanistan to South Sudan, we need to resolve the wars that force people to flee.

4/6/16: Panama Papers Leak Casts Light on a Law Firm Founded on Secrecy

The two men came together in an era of political and economic uncertainty in Panama: One a reserved German immigrant whose father served in the armed wing of the Nazi party, the other a gregarious, aspiring novelist whose family opposed Panama’s military dictatorship.

4/6/16: The Strongwoman of Europe

Almost a year after Europe’s refugee crisis began, the pressure is still on to find a solution. On March 18, Turkey and the European Union, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the forefront, agreed on a deal: for every illegal Syrian refugee returned to Turkey from Greece, one legal Syrian refugee already in Turkey would be resettled in the EU.

4/6/16: Violent extremism mushrooming - UN

Geneva - Countries must urgently cooperate to halt the spread of violent extremism around the globe, the United Nations said on Tuesday, ahead of a high-level conference focused on preventing dangerous radicalisation.

4/5/16: China's Offensive in London

As China sets its sights on European markets, it has zeroed in on London, the continent’s top international financial center. In October 2015, during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to the United Kingdom, the People’s Bank of China announced that it would begin issuing government debt in yuan there—making the City of London the first place outside of China to offer Chinese sovereign debt.

4/4/16: Trump's Base Politics in Asia

Donald Trump, the leading Republican candidate for this fall’s presidential election, has been no stranger to controversy. Washington’s longstanding relationships with its key Northeast Asian allies—Japan and South Korea—were among his recent targets. In an interview last month with The New York Times, Trump questioned the value of the alliances with Tokyo and Seoul, accusing those countries of benefiting from Washington’s security guarantees and offering little in return.

4/3/16: The Myth of the Islamic State

ISIS’ declaration of an Islamic State begs a fundamental question: When and how did that concept become a part of the political vocabulary of Muslim societies? After all, the idea hasn’t been around forever, and its popularity has waxed and waned over time. In fact, its emergence and popularity are tied to the specific conditions of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when Muslim societies responded to European colonial rule.

4/3/16: Exclusive: U.N. audit identifies serious lapses linked to alleged bribery

The United Nations' internal investigations office has uncovered serious lapses and due-diligence failures in the world body's interaction with organizations tied to an alleged bribery scheme involving a former U.N. General Assembly president.

4/3/16: Keeping Up With the Caliphate

In June 2014, a small force of Islamic extremists routed the Iraqi army and seized control of Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city. The militants then swept south, capturing Tikrit, until they occupied an area the size of the United Kingdom stretching across eastern Syria and northwestern Iraq.

MARCH 2016

3/24/16: Radovan Karadzic, a Bosnian Serb, Gets 40 Years Over Genocide and War Crimes

Radovan Karadzic, the former Bosnian Serb leader, was convicted of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, by a United Nations tribunal on Thursday for leading a campaign of terror against civilians that included the slaughter of 8,000 Bosnian Muslims at Srebrenica in 1995 and the nearly four-year siege of Sarajevo

3/23/16: ISIS Is More Than a Terrorist Group

n this, it is important to keep in mind that ISIS is not al Qaeda. For one, the ISIS-sponsored network in Europe includes at least 90 well-trained, well-supported, and well-supplied operatives. Their tactics were honed on hot battlefields and in the bombed-out basements of war-torn Syria, not at terrorist boot camps or in the caves of the Hindu Kush, as was the case for al Qaeda

3/23/16: ISIS' Next Target

The recent attacks in Brussels show that terrorists’ ability to strike at the heart of Europe remains apparently undiminished. Early reports suggest a death toll of around 31, with more than 100 injured. The Islamic State (ISIS) has claimed responsibility for the attack.

3/22/16: UN official: Don't target refugees over Brussels attacks

The U.N. official in charge of aiding Mideast refugees said on Tuesday that anger over the attacks in Brussels shouldn't be directed at those fleeing Syria's bloody civil war or violence elsewhere in the region.

3/22/16: Strikes Claimed by ISIS Shut Brussels and Shake European Security

Bombs packed with nails terrorized Brussels on Tuesday in the deadliest assault on the European heartland since the Islamic State’s attacks on Paris four months ago, hitting the airport and subway system in coordinated strikes that were also claimed by the militant extremist group.

3/21/16: Russia sends 50th 'humanitarian convoy' to Donbas

It is reported that the convoy will deliver more than 1,100 tonnes of humanitarian aid. The cargo reportedly includes food: canned food, flour, sugar, cereals, pasta, butter, puree, juice. The column will also deliver the seeds of crops for the spring sowing campaign.

3/21/16: A reality check on Syrian refugees

These Syrian refugees are living in extreme poverty, some in camps or in housing they have found wherever they can in urban communities. As the conflict stretches on, coping mechanisms and humanitarian aid are proving inadequate. Refugees who had savings have largely spent them amid the spiraling cost of living.

 3/20/16: Cuba's Human Rights Record in Spotlight Ahead of Obama Trip

“I’m going to Cuba,” Obama announced last month. “I believe that the best way to advance American interests and values, and the best way to help the Cuban people improve their lives, is through engagement.”

3/20/16: A World First: Ranking Of Human Rights Performance By Listed Companies Begins

A recent survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) of senior corporate executives stated: “Over the last decade, the field of business and human rights has seen a dramatic evolution, from a situation in which companies and human rights activists were at odds, to one in which stakeholders have begun to approach a common understanding of the risks, challenges, and opportunities involved.” It found that while 83% of respondents said business was an important player in respecting human rights, they were still learning what their human rights responsibilities meant in practice.

3/20/16: Turkey awarded for hosting 2.7 bln Syrian refugees

An American humanitarian aid organization awarded Turkey on Saturday night for its “tireless advocacy” for the Syrian people, of whom 2.7 million have been hosted by Turkey over the last five years.

3/20/16: Syrian refugees: Sharing knowledge, building confidence

In an effort to help, the UNHCR is working with the British Council on a pilot parents support group. The aim is to provide training for Syrian parents to help their children learn foreign languages, even if the parents do not understand the languages themselves.

3/20/16: Syria aid charities urge Cameron to help them navigate anti-terror laws

The British government must do more to reduce the negative impact of anti-terror laws on Syrians' access to crucial humanitarian supplies, charities said on Sunday.

3/19/16: UN condemns North Korea ballistic missile launches

The U.N. Security Council on Friday condemned North Korea's latest ballistic missile launches, calling them "unacceptable," a clear violation of U.N. resolutions banning such tests, and a threat to regional and international security.

3/13/16: From 'welcome' to 'enough' Europe's migrant view shifts

European voters are boosting anti-immigrant political parties and governments are closing their gates to new arrivals. The refrain of Europe's migrant crisis has changed from "welcome" to "enough already."

3/13/16: Turkey explosion: Ankara car bomb kills at least 32

A car bomb has exploded in the Turkish capital Ankara, killing 32 people and wounding more than 100, the health ministry has said.The explosion happened in Guven Park in the Kizilay district, a key transport hub and commercial area.

3/13/16: Vilnius to Provide $5.8 Mln to Ankara Under EU-Turkey Migration Plan

Lithuania is set to allocate 5.2 million euros (some $5.8 million) to Turkey, which has pledged to accept undocumented immigrants who entered Europe, the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Sunday.

3/13/16: Saying All Migrants to EU Syrians Distortion of Truth - Lavrov

Information that all migrants coming to Europe are Syrians is the distortion of truth and attempts to manipulate the public opinion, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

3/14/16: "More bombs and blankets" cannot fix Syria crisis - U.N. aid adviser

The momentum to reduce hostilities and deliver more aid that has been built up in recent weeks in war-torn Syria must not be lost at "a moment of truth" as the conflict enters its sixth year, said a top humanitarian adviser to the United Nations.

3/14/16: Why Russia Is Taking Troops Out of Syria

For now, Putin has said that he considers “the objectives that were set for the Defense Ministry to be generally accomplished” in Syria, and that it’s time for diplomacy to kick in.

3/14/16: Hit the Gas in Iran

No figure in Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s tight knit cabinet was more lifted by the recent Iranian election results than Oil Minister Bijan Zangeneh. The Iranian economy hangs on his ability to deliver on his ambitious plans to attract $200 billion in foreign investment to expand Iran’s enormous oil and gas export potential. Following the election, which saw allies of Rouhani gain ground, Zanganeh has a freer hand to push ahead with this agenda.

3/14/16: Activists call on world leaders to make gender equality pledge a reality

World leaders must back up their pledge to end gender inequality with concrete commitments on how they plan to empower women, said activists preparing for the UN Commission on the Status of Women.

3/14/16: New generation of Syrian refugees born in Jordan

She's among 50-80 babies born here each week now - five years into the Syrian civil war - as a new generation of refugees comes into the world far from their homeland. Some 85,000 Syrians live at the camp. There are so many that Zaatari is now Jordan's fourth largest city.

3/14/16: China steps up war of words with United States over human rights

China hit back at the United States over its human rights record on Monday, bringing out government-backed academics to accuse Washington of everything from promoting Islamic State to being a racist plutocracy.

3/14/16: In human rights reporting, the perils of too much information

Last month, the human rights organization Amnesty International revealed the exact location of a mass burial site on the outskirts of Bujumbura, Burundi. It allegedly held the bodies of at least 50 people who died from political violence in December of  last year. International media outlets like The New York Times, Reuters, and Foreign Policy were quick to report on the site’s importance, saying it adds to the growing evidence of atrocities, including murder, violence, and gang rape committed by the Burundian security forces.

3/13/16: UN chief condemns terrorist attack in Turkish capital

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned the terrorist attack that reportedly killed and wounded dozens of people in the Turkish capital of Ankara earlier today.

3/13/16: United Nations warns European Union refugee deal with Turkey might be illegal for violating human rights

The United Nations has warned that the recently drawn up deal between the European Union and Turkey to ease the migrant crisis might be illegal as it violates long-cherished principles on human rights. Under the pact, the EU would push refugees back to Turkey, which will receive political and financial support in exchange.

3/14/16: Philippines seizes N-Korea cargo ship

Philippines claimed on 5th March having seized a North Korean ship in line with freshly introduced UN sanctions  targeting the country’s nuclear programme.Deputy presidential spokesman Manolo Quezon said Philippines ‘has to do its part to enforce the sanctions’.

3/16/16: Iran rejects 'biased' UN human rights report

Iranian officials rejected a critical UN report on human rights and said the Islamic republic is preparing a new charter 

3/16/16: Aid agencies call for full access in Syria as conflict enters sixth year

Humanitarian agencies demanded unconditional access to all 

3/17/16: Future of Liberia and UN presence in the country discussed at Security Council

Since the civil war ended in 2003, the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) has been supporting the West African nation to rebuild its institutions so it can maintain stability without its presence.

3/17/16: Obama will be hard pressed to secure advances in human rights and trade while in Cuba

Since Obama's 2014 announcement of a move toward normalizing relations with Cuba, task forces have been set up for both countries to negotiate human rights issues — on both ends relating to treatment of imprisoned people

3/6/16: In Algeria, the United Nations chief calls to ease 'unacceptable' plight of Sahrawi refugees

Calling to alleviate the plight of Sahrawi refugees in Algeria who are dealing with an “unacceptable situation,” United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today said the parties to the Western Sahara conflict have not made any real progress in the negotiations towards a just, lasting and mutually acceptable political solution.

3/6/16: Civil War, refugees and ISIS all part of Syria's story

Many states have now refused to allow refugees into their borders, even though President Obama has asked for all states to welcome the Syrian’s into their borders, very few have complied.

3/5/16: How Low Energy Prices Could Push Latin America to Privatize Its Energy Sector

Latin America is on the brink of a new era in oil politics. Over the past century, resource nationalism—when governments assert control over their nation’s natural resources—has ebbed and flowed, often in line with movements in global oil prices.

3/6/16: Germany contributes aid to Syrian refugees in Jordan

The World Food Programme said Sunday it would provide e-vouchers with full value to hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees in Jordan this month after a pledge by Germany to provide aid to the displaced people.

3/6/16: Turkish guards 'attacking' Syrian refugees and 'pushing them into the arms of smugglers'

Turkish border guards are routinely attacking Syrians attempting to cross illegally into Turkey, refugees and campaigners have claimed.  Families who fled the recent fighting in Aleppo told The Independent that officers had opened fire as they tried to reach Turkey with the help of smugglers. Others spoke of heavy beatings for those caught after attempting to slip across.

3/6/16: What’s Europe’s next move? The world is watching what some hope is our collapse

At a time when the challenges for Europe are multiplying daily, never has politics been so disconnected from reality. Europe tries to lock itself down and EU member countries are at loggerheads over migrants.

3/7/16: Europe's migrant crisis: Border fences let smugglers’ wealth climb

A Europol report released last month declared people-smuggling the fastest-growing criminal sector in Europe. At the height of the refugee crisis last northern summer, Kareem claims, Abu Ali was running five boats a day from the Turkish coast, making more than $15,000 from each one that landed safely on the Greek island of Lesbos.

3/7/16: World’s highest ranking human rights official says the FBI is ‘unlocking a Pandora’s Box’

The very high-profile and incredibly important case between Apple and the FBI wanting access to data stored on an iPhone could have “serious global ramifications,” according to the United Nations High Commissioner of Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein.

3/6/16: UN expert calls destruction of cultural heritage a violation of human rights

UNITED NATIONS: The destruction of cultural heritage is a violation of human rights, a United Nations expert has said, as the international criminal tribunal began a pre-trial procedure for the first-ever case in which charges were brought against the destruction of cultural and religious sites.

3/9/16: Manila seizes N Korea ship over UN curbs

A senior Malacanang Palace official on Saturday disclosed the government has impounded a North Korean vessel in line with the tough sanctions recently imposed by the UN due to Pyongyang’s nuclear and ballistic missile tests.

3/7/16: United Nations seeks to build peace talks on fragile Syria truce

UN envoy Staffan de Mistura said the talks, originally due to begin on Monday in Geneva, would get off to a staggered start later in the week, with delegates arriving from Wednesday onwards. The UN said the delay was due to "logistical and technical reasons and also for the ceasefire to better settle down".

3/7/16: Turkish Border Town Struggles to Cope With Influx of Syrian Refugees

Five years ago, Kilis was a tiny Turkish town best known as a place for truckers to pick up pistachio-encrusted pastries before crossing the nearby Syrian border. Today, Kilis has more than doubled in size, transformed by refugees from the conflict a few miles away into one of Turkey’s newest Syrian-majority communities.

3/3/16: Ukraine: growing despair among over three million civilians in conflict zone – UN report

Despite a decrease in the number of civilian casualties in the east of Ukraine over the past few months, a new United Nations report shows that the conflict is severely impacting on the daily life of civilians, with a growing sense of despair and isolation affecting those living in the conflict zone, especially in the areas controlled by the armed groups.

3/3/16: Marking World Wildlife Day, UN calls for global actions to save planet’s most iconic species

Time is running out” to end wildlife poaching that threatens some of the world’s most iconic species, such as elephants, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today as the United Nations marked World Wildlife Day.

3/3/16: U.S. turns to Broadway to promote gay rights at United Nations

The United States turned to cultural diplomacy on Tuesday to push gay rights at the United Nations by taking 15 U.N. ambassadors, including those from Russia, Gabon and Namibia, to see an award-winning lesbian musical on Broadway.

3/2/16: U.N. approves toughest sanctions on North Korea in 20 years

The U.N. Security Council unanimously approved the toughest sanctions on North Korea in two decades on Wednesday, reflecting growing anger at Pyongyang's latest nuclear test and rocket launch in defiance of a ban on all nuclear-related activity.

3/2/16: Libya 'needs to move ahead now, or risk division and collapse,' UN envoy tells Security Council

Libya needs to move ahead now or risk division and collapse, the top United Nations official in the country warned the UN Security Council today, while presenting the latest report on political and humanitarian developments.

3/3/16: Governments must commit to eliminating homelessness by 2030, UN rights expert urges

Homelessness is found in every country in the world and is spreading with impunity, a United Nations human rights expert today warned, calling on governments to recognize homelessness as a human rights crisis and commit to its eradication by 2030, in line with the new UN Sustainable Development Goals.

3/2/16: South Korean parliament passes North Korea human rights law

South Korea’s National Assembly on Wednesday passed its first legislation on human rights in North Korea, in a move that is expected to enrage its northern rival.

3/2/16: Human rights organization finds "serious crisis" in Mexico

The human rights situation Mexico is "tragic" and the problems don't just involve drug violence but also torture, impunity, excessive force and police collusion with criminals, an Organization of American States panel said Wednesday.

3/3/16: Human Rights in Cuba Back in the Spotlight as Obama's Trip Approaches

Many will be watching closely when President Barack Obama makes a historic visit to Cuba later this month, where he is to raise human rights issues with Cuban President Raul Castro.

3/2/16: Despite ‘anti-Israel bias,’ US to stay on UN human rights body

Top US diplomat said the United States will seek another term on the Human Rights Council, a sign the Obama administration is looking past criticism from Republicans who say the UN-backed body coddles dictators and bashes Israel too much.

3/2/16: THAILAND: Courts used to harass defenders

A group of human rights defenders in Northeast Thailand has been forced into a frivolous and damaging case in court, due to their attempts to protect community resources against a gold mining operation.


Since Putin’s return to the presidency in 2012, assaults on freedom of association and expression have been among the serious human rights abuses in Russia.  His regime was badly rattled by the protest movement that was triggered by his return to power, and he has responded by clamping down on any organization or movement operating independently from the government.

3/3/16: Europe must support western Balkans in halting migration: Czech PM

The European Union must provide support to western Balkan countries outside the bloc to help them halt the flow of migrants north from Greece towards the heart of the EU, Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said on Thursday

3/3/16: Migrants, EU referendum, come to fore at France-UK summit

French politicians targeted the British referendum on EU membership on Thursday, warning that leaving the 28-nation bloc would give London new problems regarding migrants, banking and terrorism.

3/2/16: NATO commander says Russia and Syria are using migration as a weapon

A top United States and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) commander said Tuesday that Russia and Syria are using migration as a tool to destabilize their European neighbors, and warned of “resurgent and aggressive” Russian behavior in the region.

3/2/16: Will ISIS Attack Italy? Foreign Minister Discusses Islamic State Militants, Migration From Libya

Europe and its allies throughout the world need to focus on sustainable and diplomatic solutions in regions of conflict in the Middle East and North Africa in order to combat a growing threat from Islamic militants while easing a continent wide migration crisis, an Italian authority said Wednesday.


02/24/16: Amnesty International Annual Report: Human Rights Under Attack More Than Ever

Human rights are fast becoming a casualty in the drive to wipe out fanatical groups like ISIS and Boko Haram. That was grim warning from the head of Amnesty International on Tuesday as the watchdog group released its annual report on the state of human rights around the world.

02/24/16: Human rights are on the ropes in Cuba, but Obama is eager to visit

“What I’ve said to the Cuban government is, if . . . we’re seeing some progress in the liberty and freedom and possibilities of ordinary Cubans, I’d love to use a visit as a way of highlighting that progress,” Obama told Yahoo! News. “If we’re going backwards, then there’s not much reason for me to be there.”

02/23/16: UK downgrading of human rights sets dangerous precedent, says Amnesty

Britain is setting a dangerous precedent by undermining human rights and contributing to a worldwide “culture of impunity”, Amnesty International has said in its annual report on the state of human rights.

02/24/16: Amnesty International condemns global ‘wholesale assault’ on human rights

Amnesty International says the United Nations has systematically failed to uphold human rights and international law – and the Syrian conflict is one example of the human consequences.

02/24/16: New dedicated institute for the study of human rights law

The Faculty of Law in the University of Oxford, already the largest law school in the UK, has announced the creation of a dedicated institute for the study of human rights law.

02/23/16: Status of Human Rights Treaties In Mexican Domestic Law

The Mexican Supreme Court issued a judgment on September 20, 2013 that resolved a “conflict between jurisdictions” (contradicción de tesis) and led to compliance with the Inter-American Court of Human Rights’ judgment in the Radilla Pacheco case. This judgment transformed human rights into the centerpiece of the Mexican legal order and led to the United Nations awarding the Mexican Supreme Court its UN Prize in the field of Human Rights on December 10, 2013 for “promoting human rights through its interpretation and enforcement of Mexico’s constitution and its obligations under international law.”

02/24/16: UN carries out first humanitarian airdrop in Syria

United Nations (United States) (AFP) - The United Nations on Wednesday carried out its first humanitarian airdrop in Syria to reach thousands of people facing severe food shortages in a city besieged by Islamic State jihadists.

02/24/16: Ban highlights private-sector investment for potential to ‘transform’ Africa’s Great Lakes region

Although the succession of violence and suffering has sometimes prevented countries in the African Great Lakes from achieving their potential, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today that the hard-working people must be given more opportunities to use their abundant natural resources in order to address the root causes of conflict and ultimately transform the region

02/24/16: In Brazil, UN health chief calls for better coordination in fight against Zika

Continuing efforts to bolster the international response to Zika, World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Margaret Chan arrived today in the northeast of Brazil to visit the area most affected by neurological disorders suspected of being linked to the virus, including microcephaly in babies.

02/24/16: Balkans border closures cause chaos as refugees find ‘too few places’ to go, UN agency chief warns

Europe is backing into an even greater refugee crisis by tightening border restrictions on the hundreds of thousands fleeing conflicts elsewhere, the head of the United Nations refugee agency has said on a visit to the island of Lesvos in Greece.

02/24/16: ‘Everyone is losing’ in the Syrian conflict, UN relief chief tells Security Council

While welcoming the recent announcement of a cessation of hostilities in Syria as a “long-awaited signal of hope,” the top United Nations humanitarian official today echoed the calls of the world body and the international community at large for the parties involved to work towards a more durable ceasefire and facilitate conditions for increased protection and humanitarian aid.

02/23/16: Open Door Society says Syrian refugees settling well in Regina

Many of Regina's new Syrian refugees are beginning to feel at home in the Queen City. The amount of time it takes refugees to feel at home in a new country depends on how quickly they feel welcomed in their new communities, according to Getachew Woldeyesus from the Regina Open Door Society

02/23/16: UNHCR Survey finds Afghan and Syrian refugees arriving to Greece are fleeing conflict and violence

UNHCR is releasing the findings of its surveys of Afghan and Syrian refugees who have arrived in Greece during January 2016. These findings are part of an ongoing study to learn more about who these refugees are, where they come from, why they are fleeing and what their particular protection needs are, so that Greek authorities, UNHCR and other partners can best support them, especially those with specific needs, such as women-headed households and unaccompanied or separated children.

02/25/16: Humanitarian crisis unfolds in Libya as security dilemma persists

Millions of Libyans in need of urgent medical supplies and food provisions, says UN official

02/23/16: Proposed Truce Accepted by Syrian Government, Opposition

Syria's government on Tuesday accepted a proposed U.S.-Russian cease-fire that is to go into effect later this week, but reserved the right to respond to any violations of the truce. The main opposition and rebel umbrella group approved the deal but set its own conditions.

02/22/16: Seas Are Rising at Fastest Rate in Last 28 Centuries

The worsening of tidal flooding in American coastal communities is largely a consequence of greenhouse gases from human activity, and the problem will grow far worse in coming decades, scientists reported Monday.

02/16/16: UN says a 'humanitarian catastrophe' is unfolding in Yemen

“The U.N. humanitarian chief warned Tuesday that a "humanitarian catastrophe" is unfolding in Yemen, exacerbated by increasing restrictions on efforts to respond to the staggering needs of millions of people including the diversion of a U.N. aid ship by Saudi-led coalition forces.”

02/16/16: Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Former U.N. Secretary General, Dies at 93

“Boutros Boutros-Ghali, an Egyptian diplomat who led the United Nations in a chaotic 1990s tenure that began with hopes for peace after the Cold War, but failed to cope with genocide in Rwanda and Bosnia and ended in angry recriminations with Washington, died on Tuesday in an Egyptian hospital.”

02/16/16: China Deployed Missiles on Disputed Island, U.S. Says

“The Pentagon has evidence that the Chinese military has deployed surface-to-air missiles on a disputed island in the South China Sea, a United States official has said.”

02/15/16:The crucial missing part of Cameron's EU deal

“Last week Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, tabled proposals which the government hopes will form the basis of the UK’s renegotiated relationship with the European Union. “

02/15/16:  Kenya: Unending Toll for Rape Survivors; Provide Reparations, Justice for Post-Election Violence Victims

“Hundreds of women and girls raped during Kenya’s 2007-2008 post-election violence struggle with devastating physical and psychological health conditions, poverty, and social exclusion, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The Kenyan government has failed to provide basic assistance and redress for the rape survivors.”

02/15/16: Is New York City Ready for Syrian Refugees?

In September 2015 when President Obama made the controversial decision to call for 10,000 Syrian refugees to be resettled in the United States in 2016, Mayor de Blasio was quick to jump into the fray. Shortly after the announcement, de Blasio was one of 18 mayors to sign a petition encouraging Obama to accept even more refugees.

02/15/16: Syrian refugees in Turkey are pawns in a geopolitical game

“The EU is now offering €3bn, along with a “visa-free travel” promise to Turkish citizens, and even the resumption of membership talks in return for the “globalisation” of Turkey’s police state techniques, which will be used not just against internal opposition, but whomever is perceived to be a threat to Europe’s stability.”

02/14/16: The Next Generation of Gulf Leaders

“On February 10, the ruler of Dubai announced a new Emirati cabinet that includes eight new ministers with an average age of 38. The youngest appointee, appropriately heading the Ministry of Youth Affairs, is just 22. A few weeks earlier, the 35-year-old emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, named a fellow member of Generation Y to lead the nation’s foreign ministry—Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, who is also just 35. The face of Gulf leadership is changing, and it is getting decidedly younger.”

02/14/16: Humanitarian Aid Reaches Palestinian Refugees Trapped in Syria

“Thousands of people trapped in the besieged town of Yarmouk received critical aid for the first time in nine months.”

02/12/16: Fifa presidential candidate Sheikh Salman signs human rights pledge

“The pledge was put forward by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and three other groups asking presidential candidates to agree to “six clear steps that will put Fifa on the road to ensuring its events do not cause or contribute to human rights abuses and corruption.”

02/12/16: GCHQ hacking does not breach human rights, security tribunal rules

“Hacking of computers, networks and smartphones in the UK or abroad by GCHQ staff does not breach human rights, a security tribunal has ruled.”

02/12/16: Excessive force used by Israeli security against Palestinians, UN human rights investigator says

“The UN human rights investigator for Gaza and the West Bank have called on Israel to investigate what he called excessive force used by Israeli security against Palestinians”

02/12/16: Indonesia: Flurry of Anti-Gay Statements by Officials

“Indonesia’s government should defend the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people and publicly condemn officials’ grossly discriminatory remarks, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo.”

02/12/16: Some 50,000 Syrian refugees heading toward Turkish border: Turkish minister

“There are now 50,000 Syrian refugees on the move towards the Turkish border and at number could reach 1.5 million if the city of Aleppo is "completely bombed out", Turkey's Minister for EU Affairs Volkan Bozkir said on Thursday.

02/11/16: Turkish president threatens to send millions of Syrian refugees to EU

“Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has threatened to send the millions of refugees in Turkey to EU member states, as Nato agreed to deploy ships to the Aegean Sea to ease the migrant crisis.”

02/11/16: NATO Will Send Ships to Aegean Sea to Deter Human Trafficking

“With more than a million migrants having reached Europe in the last year and many more on the way, NATO stepped into the crisis for the first time on Thursday, saying it would deploy ships to the Aegean Sea in an attempt to stop smugglers.”

02/11/16: U.S. and Russia Announce Plan for Humanitarian Aid and a Cease-Fire in Syria

“We have agreed to implement a nationwide cessation of hostilities in one week’s time,” Mr. Kerry said early Friday morning, after all-day meetings. “That is ambitious.”

02/11/16: The Latest: Kerry Calls for Genuine Negotiation on Syria

The U.N. agency says humanitarian groups have not been able to deliver aid to Homs since October and are awaiting authorization to send in "lifesaving supplies."

02/11/16: Syrian refugees might be suffering from serious mental health issues, experts warn

Syrian refugees are starting to experience severe mental health problems due to the longing experience of the refugee crisis.

02/11/16: Turkey won't open border to Syrian refugees

Update on Turkey’s plan on the refugee crises: Turkey refuses to open their borders to Syrian refugees.

02/11/16: Ban deplores twin suicide bomb attack on camp for displaced persons in northeast Nigeria

“United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today condemned the recent double suicide attack carried out by suspected Boko Haram elements in the Dikwa Camp in Borno State in restive northeastern Nigeria.”

02/10/16: Obama Proposes Removing Human Rights Conditions on Aid to Egypt

The budget proposal released by the Obama administration Tuesday seeks to roll back restrictions Congress has placed on foreign aid to Egypt’s military regime and the sale of crowd control weapons to “emerging democracies.”

02/09/16: World Humanitarian Summit must be 'turning point' in cooperation to tackle crises – UN chief

“World leaders must come together in 2016 to renew their commitments to humanity and unite to prevent and end crisis and reduce vulnerability, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today, telling UN Member States that the World Humanitarian Summit will provide an opportunity for “concrete steps towards ending the suffering experienced by billions of people today.”

02/09/16: Ban Ki-moon: ‘Close the gap between the world that is and the world that should be’

“In a report setting out his vision for the world humanitarian summit in May, Ban outlines five core responsibilities for the international community. As well as better political leadership, he demands protection for civilians, respect for humanitarian law, inclusive policies to make sure no one is left out, and more flexibility and joined-up thinking from the aid community.”

02/09/16: The Problem With NATO's Nukes

“U.S. President Barack Obama came into office promising to work toward a world free of nuclear weapons. Over the past several years, the United States has made uneven progress toward that goal.”

02/08/16: UN Security Council vows new sanctions after N Korea's rocket launch

The UN Security Council has strongly condemned North Korea's launch of a long-range rocket.

02/07/16: The Next Front Against ISIS

In recent weeks, a succession of U.S. and European officials have warned that military operations to stop the creeping advancement of the Islamic State in the shattered North African state of Libya are imminent.

02/08/16: Seven arrested in Spain for ‘supplying weapons to ISIS’ disguised as humanitarian ai

“SEVEN people have been arrested in Spain on suspicion of supplying weapons and bomb-making equipment to Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria and Iraq.”

02/04/16: Curbing Small Arms, Light Weapons Proliferation in Nigeria

“Worried by the ugly trend of illicit arms proliferation along the borders of West African region, the Presidential Committee on Small Arms and Light Weapons (PRESCOM) has stressed the need to ensure that the review of the 1959 Firearms Act currently in the National Assembly is urgently passed into law.

02/08/16: Russia/Syria: Daily Cluster Munition Attacks

“The International Syria Support Group, a group of 17 countries and three organizations that is scheduled to meet on February 11, should make protecting civilians and ending indiscriminate attacks, including with cluster munitions, a key priority, Human Rights Watch said.”

02/08/16: Universal Human Rights: The Foundations of the Global Goals

“These cases are not uncommon. Human trafficking, dangerous working conditions, unfair wages; these examples are not just a stain on the reputation of business. They are destroying lives and communities in all corners of the globe. It cannot be right in a world of increasing human progress -- whether in medicine, space exploration or renewable energy -- that so many people are denied the most basic human rights.”

02/07/16: Northern Territory intervention 'fails on human rights' and closing the gap

The Northern Territory intervention has failed to deliver substantial reform in any of the areas covered by the Close the Gap goals and has also failed to meet Australia’s international human rights obligations, an independent report has found.

02/07/16: EU Urges Turkey To Open Border For Syrian Refugees

Turkey had a moral and legal duty to help, Mogherini said, adding that EU had given Turkey funding to provide assistance and protection to Syrian refugees. On Thursday, EU approved 3 billion euros ($3.35 billion) in aid to help Turkey cope with the influx of refugees.

02/10/16: Turkey lashes out at demands to open border to Syrian refugees

Turkish governmental leaders have called the international community “two-faced” for forcing them to open the borders.

02/07/16: Seven people arrested in Spain for 'supplying arms to ISIS' disguised as humanitarian aid

Seven people have been arrested in Spain on suspicion of supplying weapons and bomb-making equipment to ISIS leaders in Syria and Iraq.


High-Level Panel on Humanitarian Financing Report to the Secretary-General: Too Important to Fail—Addressing the Humanitarian Finance Gap



09/02/2015: The Future of UN Peace Operations: Report of the Secretary-General on the Recommendations of the High Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations

MAY 2015

5/10/15: American Psychological Association Bolstered C.I.A. Torture Program, Report Says

“The American Psychological Association secretly collaborated with the administration of President George W. Bush to bolster a legal and ethical justification for the torture of prisoners swept up in the post-Sept. 11 war on terror, according to a new report by a group of dissident health professionals and human rights activists.”

APRIL 2015

4/26/15: Inside America’s Toughest Federal Prison

“For years, conditions inside the United States’ only federal supermax facility were largely a mystery. But a landmark lawsuit is finally revealing the harsh world within.”

4/20/15: Hope Dwindling for Those Displaced in War Torn Ukraine

“In a small town of Svyatohirsk, prayers and charity are what sustain a growing number of the internally displaced.”



UN humanitarian community urge protection , access to aid for Syrian children. Against the backdrop of peace talks on Syria which opened today in Switzerland, senior United Nations humanitarian officials have joined international aid organizations calling for the protection of Syrian children, 11,000 of whom have been killed and 4 million forced to flee their homes over the past three years.


Gender equality must be enshrined in all post-2015 development goals – UN Rights Chief. The United Nations committee mandated to ensure compliance with the global treaty to end all forms of discrimination against women opened a new session today with a call for gender equality to be fully integrated into the post-2015 agenda.

Human rights groups urge Olympic corporate sponsors to speak out against Russia’s policies.Corporate sponsors of the Sochi Winter Olympics should act now to urge Russia to halt the rising tide of discrimination, harassment and threats against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, 40 of the world’s leading human rights and LGBT groups said today, in a joint open letter.

Ugandan Anti-Gay Law signed; Bill threatens life in prison for “Aggravated Homosexuality”. The U.N.’s top human rights official bashed the signing of a strict new anti-gay law in Uganda on Monday, saying the law was not only discriminatory, but is likely to complicate efforts to combat AIDS in the country.

MARCH 2014

State Department Report for Human Rights Practices 2013

Central African Republic: UN probe set to investigate reports of rights violations. Underscoring the Central African Republic’s (CAR) history of coups, violence and impunity, the head of a United Nations inquiry warned today that the spread of hate speech and the collapse of law and order in the strife-riven country are likely precursors to grave human rights violations, including genocide.

Equality for women means progress for all, UN officials declare, marking International Day. To mark International Women’s Day, the United Nations family is spotlighting a simple truth: achieving equality for women and girls is essential not merely because it is a matter of fairness and fundamental human rights, but because progress in so many other areas depends on it.


The Senate Committee’s Report on the CIA’s use of Torture



Eyad El-Sarraj, Psychiatrist Who Fought For Palestinians’ Rights, Dies at 70. Eyad El-Sarraj, a Palestinian psychiatrist who pioneered mental health care in Gaza and became an internationally recognized human rights advocate, criticizing both the Israeli and Palestinian authorities, died on Tuesday in a hospital in Israel.

Top U.N. Rights Official Links Assad to Crimes in Syria. The top United Nations human rights official linked President Bashar al-Assad of Syria to war crimes and crimes against humanity for the first time on Monday, citing evidence collected by her panel of investigators over the course of the 33-month-old conflict in that country.


Where Mental Asylums Live On (NY Times Opinion Pages). “People need to wake up to the sad story of widespread human rights violations against people with mental disorders in a number of countries,” said Dr. Shekhar Saxena, director of the World Health Organization’s department of mental health and substance abuse.

Rules to Require Equal Coverage for Mentally Ill. The Obama administration on Friday will complete a generation-long effort to require insurers to cover care for mental health and addiction just like physical illnesses when it issues long-awaited regulations defining parity in benefits and treatment.


UN Marks World Mental Health Day by focusing on well-being of aging populations. Citizens over 60 years of age must have access to social and health services to ensure their physical and mental well-being, the United Nations said today, marking World Mental Health Day.


U.N. Panel Urges International Action on North Korean Human Rights Abuses. The United Nations experts investigating human rights conditions in North Korea said Tuesday that the “shocking” evidence they had collected from defectors and others suggested “large-scale” patterns of abuse that demanded an international response.

A Tie to Mental Illness in the Violence Behind Bars. The most violent prisons in the Texas state system share a common factor: they house a high proportion of mentally ill inmates.

AUGUST 2013 

Basic Rights of Mentally Ill ‘Violated”. The basic rights of some mental health patients in England are being “violated” because of a shortage of beds in psychiatric units, MPs say.

Local Research Essential to Universal Health Coverage, UN Agency Reports. The United Nations health agency today called on countries to continue investing in local research as a step towards developing a system of universal and affordable health coverage.

JULY 2013

Malala Yousafzai addresses United Nations Youth Assembly On her 16th birthday, a young Pakistani schoolgirl made history in New York. Malala Yousafzai, the brave young girl shot and nearly killed by the Taliban, delivered a speech at UN headquarters. 

JUNE 2013

More than 1,000 people killed in May Iraq violence: UN Unrest increased throughout Iraq as Sunnis protested, resulting to deaths and more than 2,000 wounded. 

MAY 2013  

Jovica Stanišić and Franko Simatović acquitted of all charges The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia’s Trial Chamber released two Serbian men who worked in the Serbian security service due to lack of evidence and criminal intent. They were accused for participating in a joint criminal enterprise. 

Nawaz Sharif condemns US drone strikes The new Prime Minister of Pakistan condemns U.S drone strikes and states they violate Pakistan’s sovereignty and the UN charter. The Parliament will be making a policy against drone attacks in Pakistan. 

South Africa: Police repeatedly turn on asylum-seekers amid xenophobia spike Amnesty International said South Africa should stop violence against asylum seekers as the police used pepper spray and stun grenades on people renewing their permits in Cape Town. 

APRIL 2013

‘There are no human rights in Sri Lanka’ Journalists, activists, lawyers who spoke out against the Sri Lankan government have disappeared as the government tries to control the public opinion, violating human rights. 

Japan executions show ‘chilling’ escalation in death penalty use Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government has now executed five people since taking office in December 2012

USA: Authorities must end indefinite detention in Guantánamo as hunger strike grows As more than half the detainees in Guantanamo Bay prisons seek hunger strikes, U.S must end indefinite detention said Amnesty International. 

MARCH 2013 

Human Rights Watch Report on Anti-Homosexulaity Law in Cameroon  The report presents 10 case studies of arrests and prosecutions under article 347 of Cameroon’s penal code, which punishes “sexual relations between persons of the same sex” with up to five years in prison.

As President Obama Signs Violence Against Women Act, Amnesty International Commends Activism That Pushed Protections and Safety For All Women On March 7th the VAWA legislation of 2013 was signed by President Obama. 

VAWA Act 2013  The American Congress came together on the 113th Session to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act of 1994. 

South Sudan: End Widespread Child Marriage Gender inequality and child marriage has become a widespread issue globally. The South Sudan government is recommended to take action against the country’s striking statistics of almost half of Sudanese girls marrying reaching the age of 12 and 19. 

NA Adopts Anti-Terrorism Amendment Bill 2013  A wave of fear and protests have swept across Pakistan as constant terrorist attacks pile up dead bodies and casualties resulting from recent bombings. The National Assembly of Pakistan has taken action in creating an Anti-Terrorism Bill. However, the real challenge the government faces is to end the outcry of citizens experiencing this trauma and providing justice. 


Report of the Committee on Amendments to Criminal Law- Sexual Violence Against Women India’s Verma Committee produced a report on violence against women with recommendations to tackle this global isssue. It was proposed after a gang raped and killed a 23 year-old woman in India. 

Justice Department Memo Reveals Legal Case for Drone Strikes on Americans A secretive memo from the Justice Department, provided to NBC News, provides new information about the legal reasoning behind one of the Obama administration’s controversial policies. John Brennan, Obama’s nominee for CIA director, is expected to face tough questions about drone strikes on Thursday when he appears before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Department of Justice White Paper- Drone Strikes on Americans  

Drowned in a Stream of Prescriptions A college student suicides after being on Adderall, a drug meant for patients diagnosed with A.D.H.D. It has widely attracted students, while serious psychological dangers and its addictive nature is undermined. 

UN Lauds New Tool Enabling Individual Complaints on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights A new protocol created by the UN will help citizens of countries all over the world to file complaints on the international level regarding human rights and atrocities, giving a voice to the “powerless”. 


Thousands Join Pakistan Cleric’s ‘Long March’ Thousands of civilians participate in a peaceful democratic long march to the capital of Pakistan in order to protect human rights, eliminate poverty, supremacy of constitution, rule of law, and end corruption.  

Independent UN Inquiry Urges Halt to Israeli Settlements in Occupied Palestinian Territory The magnitude of violations relating to Israel’s policies of dispossession, evictions, demolitions and displacements from land shows the widespread nature of these breaches of human rights. The motivation behind violence and intimidation against the Palestinians and their properties is to drive the local populations away from their lands, allowing the settlements to expand. 

Russia’s Anti-Gay ‘Propaganda Law’ Assault on Freedom of Expression A new legislation by the Russian Parliament restricts human rights for LGBTI people and discriminates against them, while breaching international obligations. 


MARCH 2012 

It’s Not About Gay Rights – It’s About Human Rights For many, “gay rights” is associated with the debate over whether gay people should be allowed to marry, adopt children or serve openly in the military. But a discussion looming before the United Nations this week is far more basic: whether gays should enjoy the basic right to life.


IOC/Saudi Arabia: End Ban on Women in Sports Saudi policy to bar women and girls violates Olympic Charter.


Egypt: Calls for Minors to be Kept Out of Political Clashes The involvement of children in violence during ongoing clashes between protesters and police in Egypt should be addressed because it is against international norms, say child rights activists.

West Africa: Call for More Coordinated Approach to Child Protection A report from an NGO coalition is calling on ECOWAS to better protect children from forced migration and servitude.

North African Road Trip: Hope Meets Hate in the New Libya One year after the Arab Spring, Spiegel correspondent Alexander Smoltczyk set out on a journey through the Maghreb to assess the region’s transformation. On the second leg of his journey, he travels through post-revolution Libya and finds a country marked by a mixture of hope, desperation and the will to build a new democracy.

NGO Crackdown in Egypt: German Think Tank Chief to be Questioned in Cairo
The head of a major German political think tank’s Cairo office has been snared in the Egyptian government’s crackdown on local and foreign non-governmental organizations operating in the country. The Konrad Adenauer Foundation and other institutions remained closed in the capital on Monday.



Egypt: National and International Human Rights Organizations are Under Attack A joint appeal from multiple NGOs highlights the recent attacks of NGOs working on human rights issues in Egypt.

Russia: Human Rights Report Criticizes US and Others In a report on human rights, Russia targeted US practices, like Guantanamo Bay, for human rights violations.

Malaysia: Revoke Law Banning Same-Sex Sexual Relations Malaysia still outlaws sodomy and continues to use it to prosecute homosexuals as criminals.

Ethiopia: Journalists Convicted Under Unfair Law The conviction of Swedish journalists demonstrates a major flaw with anti-terrorism laws in Ethiopia.

The World From Berlin: ‘Democratic Deficiencies’ Abound in Hungary The Hungarian Constitutional Court may have struck down parts of Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s controversial media law, but with a new constitution set to take effect on the first of the year, it is a hollow victory. German commentators say the decision was the “last twitch” of the rule of law there.

North Korea: Kim Jong-Il’s Legacy of Mass Atrocity Kim Jong-Il’s reign was marked by famine, torture, executions and forced labor camps.

‘Europe has Become Poorer’: A Continent Mourns the Passing of Vaclav Havel Leaders from the Czech Republic, Europe and beyond have expressed their sorrow at the death of Velvet Revolution leader Vaclav Havel. Thousands gathered in the heart of Prague on Sunday evening to mourn the passing of one of the communist-era’s greatest dissidents.

Image of Egyptian Army Men Stripping, Kicking Veiled Female Protester Creates Social Media Buzz This article discusses the controversial image being circulated by social media and its meaning for the current state of affairs in Egypt.

US/Alabama: No Way to Live Under Immigrant Law The new immigration laws in Alabama infringe upon the human rights of people living in the American state, including children.

ICC: A Need for Strengthened Support Members of the International Criminal Court should take steps to strengthen the institution.

Pakistan: Girls Fight for the Right to Education Girls in the Swat Valley are fighting for their right to education.

Lobby Group Abandons ‘Blood Diamonds’ Scheme Global Witness says the Kimberly Process, a global diamond regulatory project, ignores the link between gems and violence.

Sudan: ICC Warrant Request Advances Justice The ICC prosecutor has requested an arrest warrant for Sudan’s Minister of Defense for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur.

Burma Awakens: Newfound Freedoms Raise Hopes at Home and Abroad For years, Burma’s ruling junta has violently crushed its pro-democracy opponents. But now the pariah state is releasing political prisoners, tolerating open dissent and granting new freedoms to opposition politicians and foreign investors. Is this merely a tactical maneuver or a sign of genuine change?

Cote D’Ivoire One Year On One year on from the presidential elections that caused conflict across Côte d’Ivoire, ex-President Laurent Gbagbo has been charged with crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court (ICC), tensions have eased in most areas, the economy has improved, and almost all schools have reopened and hospitals are functioning. But reconciliation has a long way to go.


Cote D’Ivoire: Gbagbo’s ICC Transfer Advances Justice The Former president of Cote D’Ivoire has been transferred to the ICC as a means of advancing justice for the violence in the wake of the 2009 elections.

South Africa: ‘Harsher Regime’ for Asylum Seekers Nearly half a million asylum seekers in South Africa may lose their right to earn a living or study while their refugee status is being determined after indications that the government plans to amend legislation governing those rights.

Colombia: FARC’s Killing of Captives a War Crime FARC has committed a war crime by killing captives that it had been holding for ten years.

Mexican President Accused of War Crimes Activists Lodge Complaint against Felipe Calderon at the International Criminal Court over offensive against drug cartels.

Belarus: Conviction of Rights Defender a Blow for Rule of Law The conviction of a human rights defender in Belarus on tax evasion charges appears to be politically motivated.

Vietnam: Trafficked Workers Exploited in China Growing numbers of Vietnamese laborers are being trafficked to factories and plantations in China where they are exploited, according to the UN Inter-Agency Project on Human Trafficking.

Coalition of the Disenchanted Occupy Wall Street is rapidly spreading in the US, London and elsewhere, as protestors vent their anger at corporate greed. But is the movement against capitalism as such?

Egypt: Rule of Law Under Seige Demonstrations in Cairo’s Tahrir square against Egypt’s interim military rulers have reportedly left at least 33 people dead and more than 1,500 injured since they began on 19 November.

Tripoli vs. the ICC: Who Should Bring Gadhafi’s Son to Justice? Now that the fighting has ceased in Libya, the lawyers have taken center stage. The International Criminal Court in The Hague and Tripoli’s new leaders can’t agree on who should put Moammar Gadhafi’s son Saif al-Islam on trial — or even whether the manhunt for the deposed dictator itself can be called off.

Testimony of Torture: Chinese Dissident Exposes Prison Brutality Chinese poet Liao Yiwu recently moved to Germany, where his books are best-sellers. His self-imposed exile has allowed him to finally publish his memoir, which reveals the abuses and torture he suffered during his years in prison. The book is a shocking indictment of the Chinese justice system.

Somalia: Migrants Targeted in Somaliland Migrants in Somaliland, especially those from Ethiopia, have increasingly come under attack.

Mexico: Widespread Abuses in ‘War on Drugs’ The police operate with essential impunity in the ‘War on Drugs’ despite flagrant human rights violations.

Zimbabwe: Thousands of Girls Forced Out of Education A high number of girls are stopped from receiving education due to poverty, abuse and cultural practices in Zimbabwe.

Bangladesh: Stop Harassment of Defense at War Tribunal The War Tribunal responsible for justice in the 1971 war of independence has not investigated threats against defense lawyers and witnesses.


Debating Human Rights in the IT Industry US Government Officials, Silicon Valley executives and NGOs gather to discuss freedom and censorship online.

Arab Spring Activists Win Human Rights Award Activists, including Tunisian fruit seller whose death sparked uprisings, awarded European parliament’s Sakharov Prize.

Arms Trade: Business Before Human Rights? According to Amnesty International, the US, Russia, and European countries supplied arms used against Arab protesters.

Gadhafi’s Death: The End of a Tyrant Both a dictator and his own court jester, Colonel Moammar Gadhafi was among the most enigmatic world leaders of our time. He was known for both extreme brutality and ludicrous eccentricity.

Supreme Court to Hear 2 Human Rights Cases The US Supreme Court has agreed to hear two cases regarding complicity of corporations and political groups in human rights violations abroad.

Syria: Concerns Over ‘Rampant Torture’ Six months into pro-democracy protests in Syria, allegations of human rights abuses perpetrated by supporters of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime proliferate.


Living an International Lie (September 29, 2011)

Kim Jong-Il’s Human Rights Atrocities This letter to the International Herald Tribune discusses the North Korean gulags and the relative silence of the international community.

AUGUST 2011 

Warehouse of Horror: Evidence of Massacre Found Near Tripoli Libyan rebels have discovered dozens of charred corpses in a warehouse near Tripoli thought to have been used by Moammar Gadhafi’s Khamis Brigade. It is unclear who killed the men or why, but the evidence of a massacre is overwhelming.

U.S. Relies on Contractors in Somalia Conflict (August 11, 2011)

Demonstrations, Protests and Rriots in London (August 8, 2011)

JULY 2011

What Are We Afraid Of? As Egyptians take to the polls, speculation has revealed fears of how the Egyptian population will vote and even some debates on the issue of universal suffrage.

When International Law is Found Wanting In an interviews, civil rights lawyer Chase Madar explains how international law has changed from a means of maintaining international peace to an instrument to justify war.

License for War in Libya Under international law, the UN Security Council blessed Nato’s Libya campaign without the necessary debates over its consequences.

JUNE 2011

The UN Declares Internet Access a Human Right The UN declares internet access a human right in response to the Arab Spring and the US war on whistleblowers.

APRIL 2011

ICJ, Press Release, Application of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Georgia v. Russian Federation) (April 1, 2011)

MARCH 2011

U.S. Response to UN Human Rights Council Working Group Report (March 10, 2011)

100th anniversary of International Women’s Day (March 8, 2011)

UNSC Referral of Libya Gives ICC the Opportunity to Prove its Worth (March 8, 2011)

Obama Clears Way for Guantánamo Trials (March 7, 2011)

ICC Prosecutor to open an investigation in Libya (March 3, 2011)

Afghan Women Slowly Gaining Protection (March 2, 2011)


Special Rapporteur on violence against women finalizes fact finding mission to the United States of America (February 8, 2011)

America’s Journeys With Strongmen (February 5, 2011)

Clashes Erupt in Cairo Between Mubarak’s Allies and Foes (February 2, 2011)

U.N. Rights Chief Urges Calm During Egypt Protests (February 1, 2011)


Mohamed ElBaradei man of integrity, courage (January 31, 2011)

Afghan Stoning Video Rekindles Outcry (January 31, 2011)

Serbian war crimes fugitive arrested in France (January 31, 2011)

Wary of Egypt Unrest, China Censors Web (January 31, 2011)

Spotlight Again Falls on Web Tools and Change (January 29, 2011)

Rights Ruling Stops Return of Refugees to Greece (January 26, 2011)



International Criminal Court prosecutor Ocampo names six top Kenyans for post-election violence trial (December 17, 2010)

UN Indigenous Rights Declaration Gains U.S. support (December 16, 2010)

Assembly of States Parties concludes its ninth session (December 12, 2010)

At Peace Prize Ceremony, Winner’s Chair Stays Empty

Human Rights Day 2010: Speak up Stop Discrimination

World AIDS Day comes amid progress, concern


Let the U.N. Criticize Us


Launch of the 2010 State of the World Population Report

UN envoy says over 15,000 raped in eastern Congo

Liu Xiaobo awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China


Briefing to the Security Council on the Recent Violence in Eastern Congo

MAY 2010

Seedy underworld of human trafficking

UN to reduce DR Congo peace force

Police Taser gun trial ‘unlawful’

Swat ‘Taliban families’ expelled by tribal council

Obama’s new security strategy stresses diplomacy

Viewpoint: Brazil’s growing international presence

APRIL 2010

Is Libya serious about reform?

Norwich inmate’s legal challenge to vote

MARCH 2010

Internet restrictions curtail human rights, says US

Zuma criticises West over Zimbabwe

UN urges halt in S Lanka fighting


Tamil Tigers reject ‘human shield’ accusations

Armenia accused of ‘flawed’ trials

Thousands flee Somalia fighting

Armenia accused of ‘police abuses’

China rejects US rights criticism


Indonesia’s army ‘retains business empire’

Israel and Hamas ‘guilty of war crimes’



Immgration Detention System Lapses Detailed

In Sentence of Activist, China Gives West a Chill

US charges plane bombing suspect

‘OIC initiated Goldstone inquiry’

A Long Walk from Lamjung: The Story of a Mountain Boy


Afghan challenges for President Karzai


UN body criticises Russia abuses

Workshop to tackle food security

U.N. Reviews Security After Deadly Kabul Assault

Don’t Gloss Over Stalin’s Crimes, Medvedev Says

Women Mourn the Women Who are Targets

UK in furore over Iranian analyst’s prison term

Ex-Guantanamo prisoners sue UK

Court rules hijab optional for MPs

Culture of social activism thrives

Return of Kurds puts Turkey in a bind

Nuon Chea team blasts KRT judges

Setback for Group Fighting Gay Marriage in Maine

Tight Race for Houston Mayor, With History on Line

U.S. May Be Open to Asylum for Spouse Abuse

Dozens of Policemen Killed in Ethnic Clashes in Congo

As Donors Focus on AIDS, Child Illnesses Languish

Canada jails Rwandan over genocide

Saudi King sets aside flogging of journalist over ‘sex life’ TV show

Mexico must investigate torture of two peasant farmers

Assaults on journalists in Tunisia must be punished

Video: Turkey weighs solutions to its Kurdish conflict

Nuclear watchdog condemns Tehran as showdown looms over uranium facility Videotape of Gilad Shalit to be released in exchange for 20 Palestinian women ”It is important for the entire world to know that Gilad Shalit is alive and well and that Hamas is responsible for his well-being and his fate,” the Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said in a statement.

General Stanley McChrystal: we must give the Taleban jobs General Stanley McChrystal said that 50 to 80 per cent of the Taleban would probably stop fighting if they were given jobs and he called for “patience, resolve and time”.

‘More than 6,000 killed at US-Mexican crossing’

Iran focuses on nuclear disarmament in Geneva

Guinea: MSF Teams Treat More Than 400 Victims of Violence

East Asia: MSF Responds to Disasters in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Samoa Islands Outcry over flogging of 20 Saudis

The flogging of 20 Saudi teenagers involved in a rampage in the Eastern Province of the kingdom has infuriated the country’s liberals and human rights activists.


Finland opens Rwanda genocide trial

A Rwandan former pastor has gone on trial in Finland charged with genocide over the masscre of 5,000 Tutsis in his home country in 1994.

French police clear migrant camp

Video: Latvia cuts public services

UN investigator defends Gaza report

A United Nations investigator has defended a report published earlier this month that accuses Israel and Palestinian fighters of war crimes following the Israeli offensive in Gaza earlier this year.

Moderate Islam Takes to the Airwaves

Sudan lifts media censorship

Video: Peace proves tenuous in CAR

US transfers Guantanamo detainees

Is it Anti-Semitic to Defend Palestinian Human Rights?

Guinea junta troops ‘killed and raped hundreds at democracy rally’ The African Union threatened to impose sanctions on the junta in Guinea yesterday after more than 150 pro-democracy demonstrators were killed and hundreds were raped by government soldiers on Monday.

UK protesters call for arrest of Israeli war minister British lawmakers and pro-Palestinian activists have pilloried the governing Labour Party for entertaining Israeli War Minister Ehud Barak at their annual conference instead of calling for his arrest for war crimes committed against the Palestinians.

U.S. House Holds Hearing on Employment Non-Discrimination Act Measure would prohibit workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity

Nutrition Emergency in Central African Republic MSF Assessments Reveal Severe Malnutrition Rates Exceeding Emergency Threshold in Southwestern CAR; Over 1,000 Children at Risk From Malnutrition and Other Severe Medical Complications

Italy: MSF Assists Migrant Workers Living in Appalling Conditions ”I live in a shack and I sleep on a mattress on the floor. I didn’t think I would have such a bad life in Italy.”

Drug Companies Called On to Pool HIV Patents The international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) today called on nine of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies to help accelerate the availability of new treatments for millions of people living with HIV/AIDS, by pooling their patents on a list of key HIV medicines.

Amnesty International calls on Sudan to repeal law penalizing women for wearing trousers ”The manner in which this law has been used against women is unacceptable, and the penalty called for by the law – up to 40 lashes – abhorrent,” said Tawanda Hondora, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Africa Programme.

Repression in Fiji – international donors urged to act The interim military government in Fiji has used a wide range of repressive tactics to stifle any protests and intimidate its critics.

Lithuanian parliament moves to criminalize homosexuality

Iranian rape and torture victims at renewed risk

Japan continues to execute mentally ill prisoners

Saudi Arabia – countering terrorism with repression

Extrajudicial executions highlight insecurity in Pakistan’s Swat Valley

Governments sign up to defend economic, social and cultural rights For the first time, the Optional Protocol on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights establishes a mechanism to access justice at an international level for people whose rights are violated.

Refugee women in Chad face high levels of rape despite UN presence ”Many people know that women who venture outside refugee camps in eastern Chad to collect firewood and water face harassment and rape,” said Tawanda Hondora.

Israel leaves crucial questions unanswered as Goldstone report discussed at UN The Israeli authorities must disclose details of the internal investigations they have carried out into the conduct of the Israeli armed forces, Amnesty International said…

Women raped during Bosnia and Herzegovina conflict still waiting for justice“I do not know if it is possible to punish this crime. If justice exists at all?… Maybe somewhere but not here in Bosnia!” – Bakira interviewed by Amnesty International

Spain must end incommunicado detention

Maternal death rate in Sierra Leone is a “human rights emergency”

Prisons to get health upgrade

Men vital in curbing domestic violence

Help sought in war on drugs< Despite recent progress in the fight against illegal drugs, Cambodia needs help from the international community if it is to meet the regional goal of eradicating illegal drugs by 2015, the Kingdom’s drug tsar said Tuesday.

K Cham girl becomes latest victim in area’s gang rape epidemic A suspect in the rape and killing of a Khmer Muslim woman in Kampong Cham province remains in custody while police gather evidence for his trial…

Donors air next year’s aid agenda Land rights, judicial reform and the global economic crisis are to be among the key challenges for Cambodia in 2010, according to foreign donors, who have expressed cautious optimism about the government’s progress in key areas.

Iran Vows to Enter Geneva Nuclear Talks With a ‘Positive View’

Iran will have a positive approach as it engages with the world powers, top Iranian nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili said a day before talks aimed at resolving the dispute over the country’s atomic development…

Somali Troops Vacate Baladweyne as Islamist Rebels Regroup

South African Group Urges Nestle Boycott Over Mugabe AfriForum, a South African civil rights organization, called for a worldwide boycott of Nestle SA products after the Swiss company said it buys milk from a farm belonging to Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s family.

U.S. Cost-Saving Policy Forces New Kidney Transplant SAN DIEGO — Melissa J. Whitaker has one very compelling reason to keep up with the health care legislation being written in Washington: her second transplanted kidney.

Summer of Work Exposes Medical Students to System’s Ills SEATTLE — This summer, medical students from the University of Washington took a long look under the hood of the health care system they are about to inherit, and many returned to campus last week with their eyes wide open and their idealism tempered.

A Milwaukee Clinic Fills a Need but Faces Failure MILWAUKEE — Like many low-income neighborhoods, the north side of Milwaukee has seen a gradual depletion of its primary care doctors over the last two decades. One by one, they have retired or surrendered to financial reality, rarely to be replaced.

Iranian Students Stage 2nd Big Protest Since Returning to University Campuses Students at one of Iran‘s largest universities staged an antigovernment protest on Tuesday, the second big demonstration at a major university in two days and a further indication that government efforts to intimidate student leaders have not been entirely successful.

Guinea’s Capital Fades Into a Ghost Town After Soldiers’ Rampage DAKAR, Senegal — Streets were deserted and shops were shut tight Tuesday in Conakry,Guinea, a day after government troops went on a brutal rampage at an opposition rally, shooting, stabbing, raping and assaulting dozens of men and women in a packed stadium.

In Dispute With Iran, Path to Iraq Is in Spotlight Now the United States’ confrontation with Iran over its nuclear program is heating up, with the disclosure last week that the Iranian government is building a second uranium enrichment complex it had not previously acknowledged.

Unity Is Rallying Cry Ahead of Iraq Elections Iraqi politics has a new catchphrase, the “yes, we can” of the country’s coming parliamentary elections. It is “national unity,” and while skepticism abounds, it could well signal the decline of the religious and sectarian parties that have fractured Iraq since 2003.

Rare Source of Attack on ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ In an unusual show of support for allowing gay men and lesbians to serve openly in the armed forces, an article in an official military journal argues forcefully for repealing the “don’t ask, don’t tell” law, which requires homosexuals in the services to keep their sexual orientation secret.

U.N. Cites Global Rise in Detection and Treatment of AIDS

The number of people being tested for H.I.V. more than doubled in dozens of countries last year, improving detection of AIDS and contributing to a major surge in those being treated.

Senate Panel Rejects Tightening of Abortion Restrictions The Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday rejected a Republican proposal to tighten restrictions onabortion in a bill to overhaul the health care system.

Darfur rebels want assurances before talks Darfur’s most active rebel group is seeking reassurances from Qatari mediators about a new round of talks with the Sudanese government planned for October.

Trouser-wearing woman freed A Sudanese woman jailed for wearing trousers deemed indecent in a landmark court case was freed on Tuesday after the country’s journalist union paid a court- imposed $209 fine.

AIDS breakthrough with vaccine For the first time, an experimental vaccine has cut the risk of becoming infected with the AIDS virus, a major advance in the fight against the deadly epidemic.

Aid appeal as millions starve in East Africa Drought for a fifth year running is driving more than 23 million east Africans in seven countries towards severe hunger and destitution, the international aid agency Oxfam said on Tuesday.

US does more harm than good in Somalia Few tears will be shed at the killing of Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan by the United States on Monday, a man responsible for at least three acts of terrorism in Africa.

Bribes and prejudice In Kenya, bribery is a fact of life and political parties exist to funnel money to rival ethnic groups.

New Delhi declares war on its slumdog residents Aiming to protect the sensibilities of the thousands of expected sport fans coming for next year’s Commonwealth Games, the government is cracking down on begging and a range of other bad habits that India’s capital city has become synonymous for. Obama hosts Middle East peace talks Barack Obama yesterday acknowledged the long road to Middle East peace after he directly entered the diplomatic process and brought the current Israeli and Palestinian leaders together for the first time.

Qadafi addresses UN It was hard to imagine how Libya’s flamboyant leader, Moammar Qadafi, could upstage the US president, Barack Obama, when the two statesmen performed back-to-back in the UN’s assembly hall yesterday. Security Council to pursue nuclear disarmament Barack Obama’s efforts to engage world leaders gained traction yesterday with Security Council members adopting a US-backed resolution on nuclear disarmament and consensus emerged on tackling Iran’s atomic programme.

Debate rages over execution of sniper When a Virginia judge set November 10 as the execution date for John Allen Muhammad, mastermind of the sniper attacks that left 10 dead and and terrorised the Washington, DC region in October 2002, the blogosphere was filled with the expected rants about capital punishment.

Obama promises aid to Samoa tsunami victims US President Barack Obama on Wednesday promised a “swift and aggressive” government response to the tsunami in the Pacific that hit Samoa, Tonga and their US- owned neighbour American Samoa, claiming at least 113 lives.

Israeli drive to prevent Jewish girls dating Arabs NAZARETH // A local authority in Israel has announced that it is establishing a special team of youth counsellors and psychologists whose job it will be to identify young Jewish women who are dating Arab men and “rescue” them.

Migrants feel left out of German politics Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the German foreign minister campaigning to become chancellor in the federal election on Sunday, wooed the immigrant vote by visiting a Turkish family in Berlin to celebrate the Sugar Festival with them

EU report on Russia-Georgia war due A report ordered by the European Union into the causes of the 2008 Russia-Georgia war is to be released on Wednesday, with potentially explosive findings that could prove delicate for the EU

Turkey plans more strikes against Kurds The Turkish government will ask parliament to extend a mandate for military strikes on Kurdish rebel bases in neighbouring Iraq

Turks embrace Ottoman past The funeral of Osman Ertugrul Osmanoglu, the last surviving grandson of an Ottoman sultan, forces Turkey to re-assess its history.

Q, W and X spell trouble for Kurdish integration Ankara is accused of treason against the Turkish language as it tries to end decades of conflict by allowing Kurdish characters into its alphabet

Afghanistan needs help to be poppy free Afghanistan needs more money and help from NATO to reach its goal of becoming “poppy-free”.

Qadafi speech wins him fans in Kashmir The Libyan leader has become instantly popular with vast sections of the Kashmiri population after advocating an independent Kashmir and slamming both the United Nations and the United States

Pashtun elders remain defiant Ethnicity was a crucial factor in the Afghan presidential election as foreign forces are blamed for the increased violence.

ISI ‘tried to undermine’ democracy in Pakistan A former high-ranking intelligence official says military and opposition figures were involved in bribery, lies and political treachery.

Afghanistan envoy urges new action The UN envoy to Afghanistan, Kai Eide, calls for “decision time” on policies towards the turbulent Asian nation.


Nazi war criminal jailed for life

Aid work ‘more dangerous’, UN says Aid agencies are gathering in Switzerland to highlight the growing dangers faced by relief workers around the world, with attacks rising dramatically over the past decade.

Video: Anger over Greek migrant crackdown

The Obstacles to Real Health Care Reform: Private Insurers and Big PhRMA

Aiding and Abetting War Crimes: The Israeli military tested new weapons in Gaza with U.S. support ”You feel like a child playing around with a magnifying glass, burning up ants.” That is how one Israeli soldier described Operation Cast Lead, the Israeli Defense Force’s (IDF) invasion of the Gaza Strip, which began in December 2008.

Liberia: “Sexual violence is a stain on our society” ”Every day I meet the victims of sexual violence and their parents,” says Saday. “Meeting them motivates me and ignites my passion to fight sexual violence. These are children who need my help, and I want other children, women, and men to be safe and respected.”

South Africa: “If they keep it inside, it destroys them” ”[The rapists] will threaten the victim after the rape: ‘If you tell, I will kill you. I will kill your mother,’ There is fear and the victim does not want to talk about it. And, if they keep it inside, it destroys them,” says Sis-Ntutu Ntwana, a MSF nurse and Simelela Center project coordinator.

DRC: Survivors of Attack Tell Their Story ”…They took my little girl to the village… They came back without her. They only brought back the rope they had tied her with.”

Syrian lawyer faces prosecution for defending human rights Muhannad al-Hassani, who had regularly carried out observations of trials before the Supreme State Security Court, was arrested by Syrian State Security on 28 July and charged with “weakening national sentiments” and “spreading false news”.

Pressure mounts as time is running out for justice for ‘Comfort Women’ On the anniversary of the end of the Second World War in Asia, women who faced abuse and sexual slavery at the hand of the Japanese Imperial army have now been waiting 64 years for an official apology and adequate reparations.

Displaced civilians in Philippines still at risk despite Mindanao ceasefire The report, Philippines: Shattered lives, beyond the 2008 – 2009 Mindanao armed conflict, details the risks that hundreds of thousands of people face as they are forced to live in camps or makeshift shelters, sometimes surrounded by a heavy military presence.

No justice in Timor- Leste ten years after independence vote A decade after Timor-Leste voted for independence, a culture of impunity continues to haunt the country’s people

Living and Fighting Alongside Men, and Fitting In FORWARD OPERATING BASE WARHORSE, Iraq — There is no mistaking that this dusty, gravel-strewn camp northeast of Baghdad is anything other than a combat outpost in a still-hostile land. And there is no mistaking that women in uniform have had a transformative effect on it.

Where Elderly Back Obama, Health Bill Anxiety It was karaoke night at theSunrise Lakes retirement village, and 76-year-old Shirley Scrop, wearing a T-shirt commemorating her granddaughter’s bat mitzvah, was laying down a rap about health care.

Calm, but Moved to Be Heard on Health Care MONTEZUMA, Ga. — Until Thursday evening, nothing in Bob Collier’s 62 years had stirred in him the slightest desire to take a stand — about anything — in public.

Dealing With Being the Health Care ‘Villains’ LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Max Shireman says that when he looks in the mirror he does not see the monster the politicians have made him out to be…

JULY 2009 

Colombia: Life in the Shadow of Violence ”Colombians have long been forced to live in a climate of total unpredictability. Many grew up with experiences of unimaginable brutality – having had to watch public executions in the village square or witness point blank the murder of their own parents. Traumatic events from the past continue to have an effect.”

Sudan: Children Seriously Injured by Unexploded Ordnances

THE HAGUE: Charles Taylor’s Tuesday Testimony

Taylor denies murder and cannibalism in Sierra Leone Charles Taylor, the former Liberian president, claimed the war crimes case against him was built on lies and deceit as he took the stand as a witness in his trial at a special court in The Hague yesterday.

Taylor’s trial lacks impact in Africa DAKAR, SENEGAL // More than 4,800km from the hills and valleys of Sierra Leone, the former Liberian president Charles Taylor is on the witness stand for the second week of his defence case in The Hague…

Obama says US still haunted by race

Barack Obama has issued his strongest comments on race since becoming US president, saying it still “haunts” the country, in remarks that overshadowed his push to win support for healthcare reform.

Obama tackles racism in NAACP speech Barack Obama, US president, told the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People on Thursday that Americans must keep fighting to eradicate bigotry, racism and discrimination and acknowledged civil rights pioneers for making his own election possible.

Cambodia Pushes to Curb Khmer Rouge Court, Group Says July 23 (Bloomberg) — Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen is trying to prevent the United Nations-backed Khmer Rouge genocide tribunal from …

Khmer Rouge interrogator says “no regrets” about deaths
PHNOM PENH, July 14 (Reuters) – A former interrogator at the Khmer Rouge’s notorious S-21 prison on Tuesday expressed no remorse for the deaths …

ANC Condemns Looting After South African Protests 
South Africa’s ruling African National Congress condemned the looting of shops and destruction of property, after violent protests against the lack of services spread into several townships this week.

Reassessing the evil of the Khmer Rouge as a politics of genocide
French journalist says the Khmer Rouge trials represent the first ‘authentic’ judgment of a communist regime led by ‘mass murderers’

Ex-Kosovo Min Acquitted For Intimidating War Crimes Witness Kosovo’s former culture minister Astrit Haraqija, sentenced to five months in prison by a U.N. court in December for intimidating a war crimes witness, was cleared on appeal Thursday.

ICTY – Appeals Chamber reverses Haraqija’s, confirms Morina’s Conviction for Contempt
The Appeals Chamber today reversed Astrit Haraqija’s conviction and affirmed Bajrush Morina’s conviction and sentence for contempt of the Tribunal for intimidating a protected witness in the trial of the former Kosovo Albanian military leader Ramush Haradinaj and others.

Thousands face mass eviction from homes and market stalls in Zimbabwe
Up to 200 people from an informal settlement in the Harare suburb of Gunhill in Zimbabwe face being forcibly evicted without being given adequate notice or any consultation or due process.

Honduran authorities must respect the rule of law and human rights
Protests are escalating in Honduras with reports of protestors being beaten. Nineteen-year-old protestor, Isis Obed Murillo, died from gunshot wounds on Sunday.

Saudi Arabia – human rights abuses in the name of fighting terrorism
We were afraid that something bad might have happened to him, that he might have been tortured. We called the prison but they would respond: “Be patient, the investigation is not finished.” I cried: “Let me just hear my husband’s voice”. His disappearance was so sudden…me and my family kept asking ourselves: why is it happening?

Hariri witness held for four years without charge in Syria
Monday 20 July marks exactly four years since Ziad Ramadan was arrested by the Syrian authorities, in whose custody he remains detained without charge or trial.

Impunity for war crimes in Gaza and southern Israel a recipe for further civilian suffering
Israeli forces killed hundreds of unarmed Palestinian civilians and destroyed thousands of homes in Gaza in attacks which breached the laws of war, Amnesty International concluded in a new report published on Thursday.

JUNE 2009

Iranian Elections Divide Arabs, Their Leaders
Around the Arab world, reactions to the Iranian election have ranged from demonstrations to Internet protests. But Arab leaders, many of whom are wary of the regime of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, have either remained silent or embraced his re-election.

Where do the two June elections leave Hezbollah?
Some Legmen for the US Israeli lobby, and even some here in Lebanon appear barely able to contain themselves, such is their felt glee over the Lebanese and Iranian election results. Some supporters of Israel see this election as two recent victories while others calculate that Israelis..

Beyond Politics: People for Sale in Hungry World 
One might be tempted to dismiss the recent findings of the US State Department on human trafficking as largely political. But do not be too hasty. Criticism of the State Department’s report on trafficked persons…

‘The Barrier is Broken and Women are Throwing Rocks’
The iconic images of Iran ‘s elections: a young woman in full hijab hurling stones at riot police, the wives of reformist candidates actively and aggressively campaigning and a shot woman named Neda bleeding profusely out of her mouth, slowly dying on video…

Khmer Rouge lawyer sees failures
The international prosecutor at the Khmer Rouge tribunal has warned that the process is failing to make a connection with the Cambodian people.

Cambodia Tribunal Reduces Sentence for Khmer Rouge Torture Chief
Cambodia ‘s U.N.-backed war crimes tribunal has ruled a former Khmer Rouge torture chief now on trial was detained “unlawfully” by the military and would be compensated for time served. The ruling means the only Khmer Rouge official to face justice can no longer be sentenced to life in prison…

Legal Strategy Fails to Hide Torturer’s Pride
PHNOM PENH,Cambodia — He is deceptively unassuming, a small man in a neat white shirt, sometimes wearing reading glasses as he studies the stack of legal documents he brings with him every day from his cell to the courtroom. But in nearly three months of trial proceedings, a harder man has emerged — alert, vigorous, with a self-confidence that has begun to shade into condescension as he corrects a lawyer or a witness about details of his life as the chief torturer of theKhmer Rouge.

Genocide or Massacre , US Repeating Mistakes of the Past
“We come here today partly in recognition of the fact that we in the United States and the world community did not do as much as we could have and should have done to try to limit what occurred…All over the world there were people like me sitting in offices who did not fully appreciate the depth and speed with which you were being engulfed by this unimaginable terror.” – Pres. Bill Clinton in his apology to the Rwandan people for his lack of intervention during the Rwandan genocide of 1994.

Have faith in Zimbabwe ‘s resurrection
Tsvangirai’s fundraising failures are already being mocked by his opponents. If he stumbles, the unity government could implode…

Torture claims against British secret agents go to inquiry
Farid Hilali alleges security services knew he was beaten while held in UAE and Morocco two years before 9/11 attacks. Farid Hilali, a Moroccan-born former resident of the UK , alleges he was tortured with the complicity of the British intelligence services…

Zimbabwe : End Repression in Marange Diamond Fields
( Johannesburg ) – Zimbabwe ‘s armed forces are engaging in the forced labor of children and adults, and are torturing and beating local villagers on the diamond fields of Marange district in eastern Zimbabwe , Human Rights Watch said….

Peru: Radio Closure Could Undermine Press Freedom
( Washington , DC ) – The Peruvian government’s decision this month to revoke the broadcast license of a local radio station could have a chilling effect on community broadcasting in Peru , Human Rights Watch said… “

Seventeen Minors and Mentally Ill Spend Years Awaiting Minister’s Orders
( New York ) – The Ugandan minister of justice should immediately inform 17 individuals who have languished in prison for years of their legal status, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to the minister of justice. The individuals have long awaited “minister’s orders” from the minister of justice to determine whether they should be imprisoned, released, or placed in the appropriate custodial care…

US/Yemen:Negotiate Return of Guantanamo Detainees
( New York ) – The apparent suicide of a Yemeni detainee at Guantanamo Bay underscores the urgent need for the United States to reach agreement with Yemen on sending uncharged prisoners home, Human Rights Watch said today…

Amputations carried out on four young men in Somalia
Insurgents in Somalia amputated the limbs of four young men on Thursday…

Police abuse and impunity in Indonesia must end
The Indonesian police carry out widespread abuse with impunity against criminal suspects and poor and marginalized communities, according to a new Amnesty International report published on Wednesday. The report, Unfinished Business: Police Accountability in Indonesia , reveals the torture and ill-treatment of criminal suspects, repeat offenders, drug users, and sex workers during arrests, interrogation and detention…

Togo : Fifteenth country in Africa to abolish the death penalty
Togo today decided to abolish the death penalty following a unanimous vote by the national assembly…

Bill Aimed at Ending LGBT Health Disparities Introduced in House

Senate Holds Hearing on Hate Crimes Legislation
Washington – The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, today thanked the Senate Judiciary Committee for holding a hearing on the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act…

Kazakhstan to tighten internet law 
Kazakhstan ‘s parliament has approved a law tightening state control of the internet, which, media rights activists say, will limit freedom of speech in the former Soviet state….

Iran ‘s Neda killing ‘was illegal’
Shirin Ebadi, a prominent Iranian human rights lawyer and Nobel peace prize winner, has told Al Jazeera that she is prepared to represent the family of a young woman shot dead during a protest in Tehran . The woman, named as Neda Agha Soltan on social-networking websites, has become a symbol for people protesting against the disputed re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president…


APRIL 2008 

Fourth Briton accuses MI5 of collusion in torture of detainees

Minority distorting human rights, says Pope

Human Rights Torch Comes to New York City Epoch Times article


Nepal’ s human rights body concern over situation in S Nepal

Amnesty says no opposition or debate in Russia election

Serb leader asks nation to pin Kosovo on its heart



Intricate Mix of Clans in Somali War (LAtimes 01/03/07)

Fatah & Hamas Renew Fighting (BBC 01/03/07)

French Confront Worsening Homelessness (BBC 01/03/07)

Iraq Investigates Saddam Execution Video (BBC 01/03/07)

UN Chief Takes Ambiguous Stance on Death Penalty (Aljazeera 01/03/07)

’16 dead’ in Venezuela prison riot (Aljazeera 01/03/07)

FBI details Guantanamo ‘techniques’ (Aljazeera 01/03/07)

Hamas & Israel May Soon Swap Prisoners (Haaretz 01/01/07)



Saddam: The death of a dictator (Salon 12/30/06)


APRIL 2005 

Serb war suspect flies to Hague, BBC News, (April 25, 2005)

War crimes apology is welcomed by China, The Times Online, UK (April 23, 2005)

What due process?, Al-Ahram, Egypt (April 21, 2005)

Iraq: Leaders Split Over Saddam’s Future, Radio Free Europe (April 20, 2005)

‘Killing fields’ survivors still wait for justice, The New Zealand Herald (April 16, 2005)

‘Scandal’ of war crimes suspects, BBC News (April 14, 2005)

B-H War Crimes Court Inaugurated, The Bosnian Institute (ICTY Press Release), (April 14, 2005)

Balkan federation to start talks with EU, International Herald Tribune (April 13, 2005)

Serb ex-police chief surrenders, BBC News, (April 1, 2005)

MARCH 2005 

ICC probes Colombia on war crimes, BBC News, (March 31, 2005)

Cambodia steps closer to justice, Asia Times Online, (March 31, 2005)

OSCE Urges BiH Courts to Enhance Capacity for War Crimes Trials , Southeast European Times, (March 31, 2005)

UN war crimes tribunal grants Bosnian Serb early release, UN News Centre, (March 31, 2005)

Justice yet to be done – an investigation, The Bosnian Institute , (March 30, 2005)

Russians accused of sheltering war crimes suspects , Guardian Unlimited, (March 15, 2005)

ICC offers Darfur hope, The Washington Times (March 15, 2005)

Ex-Khmer Rouge leaders face new charges, ABC News, Australia (March 11, 2005)

Doubts thrown on Croatia EU talks, BBC News, (March 9, 2005)

African Union still actively seeking to punish culprits in Darfur: Obasanjo, Relief Web, (March 8, 2005)

Sierra Leone war crimes trial starts, BBC News, (March 7, 2005)

Sharon is a war criminal says Livingstone, The Guardian, (March 4, 2005)

Former Liberian President Taylor Still a Threat, Voice of America, (March 3, 2005)


Commentary: The war on law itself , Al-Ahram, Egypt (February 24, 2005)

Nazi Hunters to Take On Other War Crimes Cases, Washington Post, (February 24, 2005)

Justice for Timor war criminals?, BBC News, (February 18, 2005)

Rumsfeld safe from German inquiry, BBC News, (February 16, 2005)

BiH War Crimes Chamber to Take Cases This Month , Southeast European Times, (February 8, 2005)

Timor Bishop opposes war crimes deal, (February 7, 2005)